Monthly Archives: April 2016

Patent policy as norming myth, with antidotes

Among those developing university patent policies, Archie Palmer was the Johnny Appleseed, publishing surveys and discussions of university patent policies for over three decades, from the 1930s to the 1960s. Palmer argued that it was important that universities have patent … Continue reading

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Compel them to come in

The Christian religion became political when Constantine decriminalized Christianity (313) and Theodorus later made it the state religion (380). At that point, the ad hoc development of beliefs and founding texts became a matter of official business–the norming myths required … Continue reading

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Dealing with Norming Myths

There’s a new study out at Future Internet that looks at how Wikipedia’s norms have developed over the years. In “The Evolution of Wikipedia’s Norm Network,” Bradi Heaberlin and Simon DeDeo examine Wikipedia’s form of governance and find it to … Continue reading

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Academic freedom, autonomy, and patrons

Paul Feyerabend, in the next to last essay of Farewell To Reason, responds to some of his critics, who state that they “believe in the autonomy of art, thought, and feeling over money.” Feyerabend is characteristically incisive in his reply. … Continue reading

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Was Bayh-Dole based on a misconception?

In an article published in 2013, Sean O’Connor argues that Bayh-Dole is the descendant of the Biddle Report, produced in 1947 in an attempt to shape national policy regarding ownership of federally supported inventions. The paper makes an important contribution … Continue reading

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NASA Turns Bayh-Dole Into a Vesting Statute

The US Supreme Court in Stanford v Roche ruled that Bayh-Dole was not a “vesting statute”–the law did not place ownership of patentable inventions made with federal support with the universities that hosted the research: Stanford contends that reading the … Continue reading

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The path from Bayh-Dole to inventors

Bayh-Dole is a law of federal contracting for inventions. Let’s work through it, again. 1) Bayh-Dole applies to federal agencies, not to universities. When university administrators say that “Bayh-Dole requires universities to commercialize inventions made with federal funding,” they are twice wrong. First, … Continue reading

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The Mindset That Promotes Servile Relationships

In my last article, I cited claims from an article that insists that faculty are employees, employees have a duty of fidelity to their employers, fidelity sounds like fiduciary, so faculty have a fiduciary duty to their universities and therefore … Continue reading

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Look, It's a Thrush!

One of the biggest problems in dealing with university technology transfer is the propensity for people to reason from the names given to things, rather than what the things are. In biology, a truism is that one cannot reason from … Continue reading

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3 Reasonable Approaches to University IP Policy

There are three relatively well-formed ways that a university might acquire rights to inventions made by faculty. Let’s review, starting with the clearest and simplest. Donation An inventor donates an invention to the university and the university agrees to accept … Continue reading

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