Former DARPA Program Manager Agrees to Settle Allegations of Improper Conversion of Government Technology | USAO-EDVA

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A former Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Program Manager and Founder and CEO of XeroWind, LLC of Falls Church, has agreed to pay $50,000 and surrender three patents to the United States government to settle allegations relating to his improper patenting of U.S. Government property and technology.

In July, the United States filed a lawsuit against Dr. Deepak Varshneya, of Falls Church, and XeroWind alleging conversion of government technology. The government’s complaint contended that while a DARPA Program Manager, Dr. Varshneya worked on a DARPA research program known as “ONE SHOT,” which developed a crosswind and range measuring rifle scope. Dr. Varshneya requested permission to patent the technology, but DARPA made the determination, pursuant to 37 C.F.R. Part 501, that the ONE SHOT technology was the sole property of the United States government. Dr. Varshneya did not appeal the determination and admitted that he worked on the ONE SHOT technology in the course of his government employment. Despite that determination and admission, Dr. Varshneya nonetheless filed a patent application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office covering that same technology, failing to make any mention of the government interest. Shortly after leaving DARPA, Dr. Varshneya filed two follow-on patent applications covering the same technology, and founded XeroWind, LLC to market the ONE SHOT technology. 

The $50,000 monetary payment settles allegations that included breach of fiduciary duty of a government employee. In addition, the settlement requires Dr. Varshneya to surrender the three patents to the U.S. Government. The settlement includes a limited non-exclusive license agreement with Dr. Varshneya and XeroWind, allowing them to market the technology in certain markets but requiring payment of royalties to the United States government.

The resolutions obtained in this matter were the result of a coordinated effort between the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia and the Department of Justice Intellectual Property Section.

The matter was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristin Starr and Department of Justice Trial Attorney Michel Souaya. 

The civil claims settled by this settlement are allegations only; there has been no determination of civil liability.  Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Civil Case No. 1:20-cv-741.

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