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Superseded: See the Patented and Proprietary Products Construction Program Guide

Subject: ACTION: Patented and Proprietary Products: Database of FHWA Approvals Date: November 14, 2012
From: /s/ David Nicol
Director, Office of Program Administration
Reply To: HIPA-30
To: Associate Administrators
Director, Office of Technical Services
Division Administrators
Federal Lands Highway Division Engineers

Following the issuance of King Gee's November 30, 2011 Memorandum "INFORMATION: Guidance on Patented and Proprietary Product Approvals", as well as the updated "Questions and Answers Regarding Title 23 CFR 635.411", we updated the Patented and Proprietary Products web page at https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/construction/cqit/propriet.cfm to inform internal and external customers of the actions FHWA has taken. Appendix A contains a summary of the updates to the web page. We have implemented the following procedures regarding the posting of FHWA approvals of patented and proprietary products:

  1. As described in Appendix A, all FHWA approvals of patented and proprietary products issued from November 30, 2011 to date will now be posted to a database at the following link: https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/construction/contracts/pnpapprovals/approvals.cfm. To populate this database, I ask that you provide John Huyer (john.huyer@dot.gov) of my staff, with a summary list of all FHWA approvals of patented and proprietary products issued by your offices under the November 30, 2011 guidance. Specified products include the following:
    1. Approvals for the use of a patented or proprietary item for the purpose of research, or for a distinctive type of construction on relatively short sections of road for experimental purposes under 23 CFR 635.411(a)(3); and
    2. Public interest findings (PIFs) for patented and proprietary products, materials, or processes under 23 CFR 635.411(c).

    Please provide this information as formatted in the attached Excel spreadsheet (Attachment 1) which includes dropdown menus. Form field definitions are described in a separate attached Word Document (Attachment 2).

  2. To keep the above database current, we will post updates as we receive them. As a reminder, we will also request updates from the Division Offices on a quarterly basis, with response dates of March 1, June 1, September 1, and December 1 of each year.
  3. FHWA encourages the State Departments of Transportation (State DOTs) to post their certifications for patented or proprietary products to the AASHTO APEL website at http://apel.transportation.org/all_certified_products.aspx. To date, the APEL website contains certifications from only one State DOT (Maine). We ask that the Division Offices urge their State DOT partners to post to the APEL site.
  4. FHWA also recommends that, if a State DOT decides not to post to the APEL site, that it posts certifications to its own website. To date, we have noted pages on the Colorado, Washington State, and Wyoming DOT websites (see Appendix A). Please send information on any other State DOT websites posting patented or proprietary product certifications to John Huyer at john.huyer@dot.gov .
  5. We recommend that the Division Offices reexamine active patented or proprietary product certifications or approvals that either:
    1. Do not have a sunset date; or
    2. Have a sunset date that exceeds the 2-5 year guideline recommended in Question and Answer #19 of our amended guidance.

If you have any questions or desire further information, please contact one of the following:

John Huyer at (651)291-6111, john.huyer@dot.gov
Gerald Yakowenko at 202-366-1562, gerald.yakowenko@dot.gov

Appendix A - Revisions to Construction Program Guide page - Patented & Proprietary Products
Attachment 1 – Data Reporting Form
Attachment 2 - Data Reporting Form Definitions

Appendix A

Revisions to Construction Program Guide page Patented & Proprietary Products

  1. Product Databases
  2. Provides examples of product certifications (synchronization, no equally suitable alternative), approvals for research or experimental purposes, and approvals by public interest finding.
  3. Provides lists of Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) in the Resource Center, in Headquarters, and in the Division Offices that may be of assistance in evaluating patented or proprietary products.

Attachment 1 FHWA Approvals of Patented & Proprietary Products Data Reporting Form


FHWA Approvals of Patented & Proprietary Products Data Reporting Form Definitions

We ask that the Division Offices use the attached Excel spreadsheet (.xls, 20 kb) to report FHWA Approvals of Patented and Proprietary Products. The following describes each field in the form

TRACKING NUMBER Leave this column blank: for HIPA-30 use
STATE One of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, or Puerto Rico.
BASIS OF PARTICIPATION Experimental Public Interest Finding (PIF)
PRODUCT/MATERIAL As each Experimental product work plan or PIF document may list multiple products, please list each product individually,
PRODUCT CATEGORY Currently, the Database has 35* categories, including
ADA Compliance Noise Abatement
Architectural Non-Highway Items
Coating Pavement Markings
Computer - Hardware Roadway Weather Information System
Computer - Other Safety Hardware
Computer - Software Sign Sheeting
Concrete - Admixtures Structural System
Concrete - Joints Structure Component
Concrete - Sealant Structure System
Drainage Surfacing
Equipment Surfacing System
Irrigation Systems Testing Equipment
ITS Computer Hardware/Software Traffic Control Device
ITS Hardware or System Traffic Signal Equipment*
ITS ServicesUtilities-Other
LandscapingUtilities-Water/Sewer lines
LightingWeigh-In-Motion Scales
HIPA-30 will add new product categories as necessary.
Project Specific
Multiple Projects
SUBMITTAL DATE Date the STA submitted the Experimental Product Work Plan or PIF request to FHWA
PARTICIPATION DATE Date that Federal Participation in the product cost commences
  • Experimental Product Work Plan approved by FHWA
  • PIF request approved by FHWA
EXPIRATION DATE Date that the Experimental Product work plan or PIF expires
COMMENTS Add additional clarifying information here.

* Added 06/04/2013

Updated: 10/09/2019
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