As Chief of Cyber Intellectual Property Law at two Air Force laboratories, the 67th Cyberspace Wing (67 CW) and 688th Cyberspace Wing (688 CW), Eric Rosenberg is known as a top-notch negotiator, trainer, adviser and technology transfer advocate. But he might be best known for his role in making Air Force tech transfer history.
Rosenberg negotiated the first patent license agreement (PLA) in the history of the 16th Air Force, which includes the 67 CW and 688 CW units and is responsible for information warfare. The PLA took effect on December 28, 2020, when 67 CW non-exclusively licensed its Whiddler technology patents to a small business partner. Whiddler is cybersecurity software that predicts the likelihood of a computer file being malicious, based on a number of observable features.
Rosenberg subsequently negotiated a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) with the company, which was signed on March 22, 2021. Under the CRADA, 67 CW will share access to its unclassified malware repositories to help train the company’s Whiddler-based software to recognize the difference between malicious and benign computer files. A second PLA relating to the Whiddler patents was signed on May 26, 2021.
Multiple steps were required to facilitate the technology transfer, including the January 2020 establishment of 67 CW as a federal laboratory with delegated authority from the Air Force Research Laboratory to enter into PLAs.
The three PLAs negotiated by Rosenberg in the last year are expected to earn 67 CW more than $145,000 per year in royalties, some of which will be shared with the inventors and other contributors. During the same time frame, Rosenberg negotiated, drafted, and reviewed 18 cooperative research and development agreements (CRADAs) worth more than $15 million.
Cybersecurity professionals are in high demand in the private sector, where they earn higher salaries than can be offered typically by government. Financial incentives related to patent royalties can help 67 CW retain its skilled developers and other top talent.
Rosenberg trains and advises wing, group, and squadron commanders and technical advisers about different technology transfer and transition (T3) mechanisms and helps them leverage T3 to support their mission. He also actively identifies opportunities across both 67 CW and 688 CW to jointly collaborate on existing and new T3 efforts.
An innovative leader, Rosenberg has operationalized the CRADA program for both wings, and has made the CRADA program more relevant to mission planners. His efforts related to 67 CW’s industrial control system (ICS) included working with a CRADA partner to plan an ICS workshop and to implement a defense system for ICS based on a system that was originally designed for U.S. Army vehicles.
In recognition, 318th Range Squadron’s Resource Advisor described Rosenberg as the “tip of the spear”—a military term for being on the frontline of a challenging task—for these and other ICS efforts.