Ethics in research question

klier at klier at
Fri Aug 20 11:13:34 EST 1993

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.


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