Royalties

Cabinet Office written question – answered on 9th September 2011.

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Photo of Mike Weatherley Mike Weatherley Conservative, Hove

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what estimate he has made of the cost to industry of offering software and technology products to government on a royalty free basis.

Photo of Francis Maude Francis Maude The Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office

Government have no intention of demanding the intellectual property for all ICT solutions it specifies. The proper place for discussion of these rights is during contract negotiation.

The current policy states that intellectual property relating to solutions provided by the private sector for public sector contracts should remain with the party best placed to exploit them. This ensures that, wherever sensible, business can retain their IP to use with other clients and internationally.

As outlined in the Government ICT Strategy(1), published in March 2011, the Government is committed to creating a level playing field for open source software for Government ICT procurement. We recognise that open source solutions present significant opportunities for improved value for money and the stimulation of a more competitive ICT environment. We are therefore taking positive action to encourage the use of open source in departments, where cost is equal to, or less than, the lifetime costs of proprietary software.

The Government will publish guidance on intellectual property related to public procurement later this year, to raise awareness in the public sector and industry.

(1) Available online at:

http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/sites/default/files/resources/uk-government-government-ict-strategy_0.pdf

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