British firms contracting with the US Department of Defense (DoD) may be required to yield access to valuable, unpatented proprietary information. DoD policy and contract clauses in effect since the end of World War II require contractors to provide access to technical data and computer software in the form of licenses.

‘Technical data’ is an expansive term, including design information, manufacturing techniques, test programs and results, and quality control information. In its broadest form, this would permit a competitor to duplicate manufacture of the product or system involved.

‘Computer software’ refers to program, code and related materials which would enable software to be reproduced, recreated...

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