Category Archives: Commons

The new rule

I once created a game I called “Tradition.” I was trying to find games with simple rule sets. In Tradition, the only rule was you could make a rule or make a move. At the outset, then, the only move … Continue reading

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A century of reaping enormous profits at the expense of sickness and misfortune, 1

In June 1917, the United States had just entered the first world war against Germany, and a German chemical maker through its American subsidiary Farbwerke-Hoechst held U.S. patents on salvarsan, a medicine used to treat syphilis. Along letters written on … Continue reading

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Nixon’s Need and Encouragement

In a series of articles we have dealt with the monopoly meme. The monopoly meme argues that the true purpose of patents is the corporate right to exclude all others from practicing an invention. Without this right of exclusion, so … Continue reading

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What the NIH says about Bayh-Dole, 3

Now we arrive at the source of the NIH’s conflation in its most recent “background” misrepresentation of Bayh-Dole. We are deep into the federally owned invention side of Bayh-Dole, section 209(a), in a list of the requirements that must be … Continue reading

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What the NIH says about Bayh-Dole, 2

We are working through the NIH’s most recent misrepresentation of the Bayh-Dole Act. In the first part of this effort, we looked at the NIH’s bungling of the basic premise of Bayh-Dole and the concept of practical application. Bayh-Dole’s first … Continue reading

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WARF, Vitamin D, and the Public Interest, 3

The appeals court in Vitamin Technologists sets up the case for compulsory licensing of inventions owned by public universities as instruments of state governments. That is, the appeals court establishes the basis for public march-in when a state owns a … Continue reading

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WARF, Vitamin D, and the Public Interest, 2

We have worked through a 1945 appeals court reasoning about the University of Wisconsin’s president’s refusal to allow the licensing of an invention beneficial to public health for use in food products that might compete with State of Wisconsin dairy … Continue reading

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Who Owns Digital Learning Resources?–6

Let’s come back around to Hal Plotkin’s question–who owns digital learning resources? Plotkin wants the answer to be: certainly not the university bureaucrats aiming to “commercialize” everything and therefore putting everything behind a paywall. That makes sense. Bureaucrats don’t have … Continue reading

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Who Owns Digital Learning Resources?–5

There’s a basic problem with federal grant support for research. I don’t know if the Department of Education has avoided this problem, but I will put it out there. If a federal agency supports both research and maintenance of contract deliverables, … Continue reading

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Who Owns Digital Learning Resources?–4

Now let’s deal with “digital” educational works in the context of university intellectual property claims. This is something I’ve spent a couple of decades dealing with. The Department of Education published its final rule in January 2017, requiring open licensing … Continue reading

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