Article blasts typical university approach to IP ownership with respect to faculty researchers

Gerald Barnett, the director of the Research Technology Enterprise Initiative, feels university researchers are at a crossroads, and that the fundamental rights of researchers-inventors are being “held captive by university administrators.”

Here’s the premise:  “faculty investigators decide on the research, seek the funding, assemble the team, and decide the merit of the results. The university does not assign [n]or direct the research, and does not control publication…faculty research is not done for the financial benefit of the university.” Why then is ownership of the IP assigned to the university?

With respect to federally-funded research, Barnett believes universities have totally misinterpreted Bayh-Dole, acting as IP owners instead of IP stewards, as he feels the Act intended.

Industry-sponsored research brings its own set of issues, and on March 21, Hank Foley will detail a new paradigm for industry-sponsored research implemented at Penn State University.