Ethics in research question

Jonathan Priluck jamcorp at
Wed Aug 18 21:49:21 EST 1993

In article <1993Aug19.000027.10884 at> winalski at (Paul S. Winalski) writes:
>In article <CBz4zG.830 at>,
>jamcorp at (Jonathan Priluck) writes:
>If you were doing the research in pursuit of a degree, you may find that to
>receive the degree, you must assign rights to your invention (when thepatent
>is granted) to the University.  It is fairly standard operating procedure that
>the University owns all rights to the results of research, especially
>dissertation research, undergone in pursuit of a degree.  If they haven't given
>you your PhD yet, don't push them too hard.  If it ends up in court,
>you'll find that students have very few rights in these matters, and that
>Universities have very few obligations.

	I guess that depends on which is more valuable, the degree or the
patent.  As I said in a previous posting; make a rule catch a fool.  What
you are saying is wrong, in fact the legal position of the university
(particularly in my case which I will not go into here) in most cases is so
weak that they will not even challenge you in court if you have the savvy to
stand up to them.
	As I said, the critical question is what is more valuable, the
patent or the degree.  In most cases this is very clear.  The degree is the
more valuable option and you would be well served to remit you patent
rights.  On the other hand if the patent is the more valuable then by all
means hold your ground.  Refusing you the degree is the only credible threat
they really have, as I ppointed out earlier the patent is yours if you filed
it first.  So you don't get a degree, so what, we already agreed the patent
was more valuable anyway.  Watch out for your own best interests, the
institutions are certainly watching out for theirs.

Regards Jon Priluck

*   Jonathan Aerospace Materials Corp., 41 Naples Road, Brookline MA 02146  *
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