FHWA policy prohibits contracting agencies from requiring the use of a patented or proprietary material, specification, or process, unless:
- The item is purchased or obtained through competitive bidding with equally suitable unpatented items, or
The contracting agency certifies either that the patented or proprietary item is either:
- Necessary for synchronization with existing facilities; or
- A unique product for which there is no equally suitable alternative.
- The item is used for research or for a special type of construction on relatively short sections of road for experimental purposes. In such cases, the contracting agency should follow FHWA's Construction Projects Incorporating Experimental Features, or
- If there are other equally acceptable materials or products available, the contracting agency may require a specific material or product when the Division Administrator approves of its use as being in the public interest.
- Materials and products that are determined to be equal may be bid under generic specifications. If only patented or proprietary products are acceptable, they should be bid as alternatives with all, or at least a reasonable number of, acceptable materials or products listed.
- All Expiration Dates are End of Project unless otherwise noted in the Expiration Column.