Ethics in research question

Alberto Moreira acm at
Fri Aug 20 11:44:35 EST 1993

In article <1993Aug20.111334.15773 at> klier at writes:
>In article <CBzJEH.1yo at>, jamcorp at (Jonathan Priluck) writes:
>> In article <1993Aug18.173737.15741 at> klier at writes:
>>>You may have signed your rights away in a TA or RA employment contract...
>>>in some schools that's a condition of work.  I remember a very restrictive
>>>agreement that I had to sign to work in a *clerical* position at a
>>>large west-coast university-- essentially giving them rights to anything
>>>that I might patent if they chose to take the patent. ***Even if I developed
>>>the idea at home, in my own time, and it was totally unrelated to the job***.
>> 	4) Those agreements that they make people sign are illegal.  They
>> are coerced and would never stand up in court.  For that agreement to be
>> legal they would have to take you aside *after you were hired* with your
>> legal cousel if ytou so desired, and explained to you the entire policy.
>> You should then be given the opportunity to review the policy without fear
>> of job loss or retribution.. etc. etc.  Basically it is illegal to make such
>> agreements a condition of employment without following a very specific legal
>> procedure which I have never heard implemented except at Arthur D. Little
>> and at M.I.T.  
>Yes, but... anyone with lawyers on the payroll can make life expensive
>and difficult for those of us who have to *hire* legal work...
>And that is the major stick the universities can use...  Most folks don't
>realize that coerced "contracts" are unenforceable, but it's also
>difficult to prove coercion.

	Anybody know of any previous court cases or documentation
	on this kind of issue? I'm in a real funny position: I work
	for a company, go to school at one university, and teach
	at another; all three made me sign something that says that
	whatever I think belongs to them!   -Alberto-

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