Why the Government Should Get Comfortable with Technology Escrow for Classified IP

The federal government has been using technology escrow to safeguard their commercial off-the-shelf software for decades, but agencies appear hesitant to use this same protection for classified software and other technology.

Technology escrow is a service that mitigates the risk of technology acquisition. With an escrow contract, software source code or other IP from the developer is placed in a secure escrow account held by an escrow agent—a trusted independent third party. If in the future, the developer is no longer able to support the product for reasons specified in the escrow agreement—such as bankruptcy, obsolescence, merger or acquisition—the technology buyer will still have access to the source code, IP, and other “know how” to keep their mission-critical applications and systems up and running. 

Any technical data package can be protected with a technology escrow agreement. If escrow will be required, the government entity should make this requirement known in

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