Public Domain Exclusion:  Technology and software information that is already published or will be published is not subject to export controls.  Information is “published” when it becomes generally accessible to the interested public in any form, including:

  • Publication in periodicals, books, print, electronic or any other media available for general distribution to any member of the public or to a community of person interested in the subject matter either free or at a price that does not exceed the cost of reproduction and distribution;
  • Readily available at libraries open to the public or at university libraries;
  • Patents and open (published) patent applications available at any patent office; or
  • Release at an open conference, meeting seminar, trade show or other open gathering.

Fundamental Research Exclusion: A license is not required to release to foreign nationals information that qualifies as “fundamental research”.  Fundamental research is defined as basic and applied research in science and engineering conducted at accredited U.S. institutions of higher education where the resulting information is ordinarily published and shared broadly within the scientific community. Such research can be distinguished from proprietary research and from industrial development, design, production, and product utilization, the results of which ordinarily are restricted for proprietary reasons or specific national security reasons.

Information resulting from “fundamental research” is typically excluded from export controls. The Fundamental Research Exclusion may be destroyed if the employee or university accepts any clause or restriction that:

  • Forbids or restricts the participation of foreign nationals;
  • Gives the sponsor a right to approve publications resulting from research;
  • Restricts access to and disclosure of research results;
  • Accepts “side deals” between a principal investigator and sponsor that may violate openness in research.

Education Exclusion: In most cases, a license is not required to share with foreign nationals “information concerning general scientific, mathematical or engineering principles commonly taught in universities.”  This includes information that is released by instruction in catalog courses and associated teaching laboratories of academic institutions.