Ethics in research question

Wed Aug 18 21:33:55 EST 1993

Jonathan Priluck says:

>     Hey guys; its a cold cruel world!  When I went to school I was older
> and wiser than my fellow students.  When I made an important discovery in
> 1989 I patented it immediately.  I did not inform the university, my
> advisor, or anyone else, I just applied for the patent under my name because
> it way my idea and nobodys bussiness.  About 18 months later (just one month
> after I received my patent fron the Patent Trademark Office) the university
> realised what I had and suddenly my project belonged to the university.
> They still did not know I had a patent on the process, so I played it cool.
> I argued with the university about who would get credit and in general was
> very urbane but insiustant.  In the end the University in its arrogance took
> the project away from me and assigned it to one of their profs to start
> making grant applications.  What I want to know is, should I inform them
> that I *already* hold the patent on the process, or do I just wait untill
> they have some important rtesearch then sue for infringment?

They probably know now:) Did you think that none of the people
involved in this research dipute have Email ? I Know you didn't dis-
cribe the reasearch but you did leave your name and address so it
won't be difficult for them to find out they've been scooped. So
you may even be hearing from the administration or the University's
legal staff very soon. As others have mentioned you may have a weak
legal position concerning your process.

Even if you do win you may have destroyed all your references and
made some very powerful enemies who could destroy your career.

My advice is not to play hardball with the administration. Approach
them and try and get the best deal you can while trying to avoid step-
ing on toes.

> What do you
> net folk think.  BTW I also scooped some of their grants because I submitted
> them 10 months ago to some of the same agencies they are now applying to.
>     I think large institutions are in the habit of taking what they want
> and then being thanked for it.  I know that 99% of the students would never
> have taken the precautions I did or even known how.
Large institutions are very powerful and are not above crushing those
who annoy them.

> Regards Jon Priluck
Sorry to sound so depressing but I really think your taking a very big
risk. I'm not saying it's fair that they can take your work but they
could argue that if they had not provided you with the facilities to
conduct your work you could not have developed your idea. Most corpo-
rations with an R&D component  make the same argument and the law
tends to agree with them.

One final question: do you really think that you were fair to your
supervisor by going behind his back? Are you sure he/she made no
significant contribution to the development of your ideas?

I'll probably get flamed for this letter. Oh well thats life:-)

> --
> *   Jonathan Aerospace Materials Corp., 41 Naples Road, Brookline MA 02146  *
> *            Tel (617) 731-3637, Internet:  jamcorp at           *
> *     Developers and future manufacturers of Lattice Block Materials ...    *
> *                the world's strongest and lightest materials.              *
>Stephen A. Pluhar
SPLUHAR at CROP.UOGUELPH.CA           Dept. Crop Science  U. of Guelph
Phone: 519-824-4120 Ext. 4865      Guelph, Ontario, Canada. N1G 2W1

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