Wrangling over Intellectual Property

By Huband, Frank L. | ASEE Prism, February 2006 | Go to article overview

Wrangling over Intellectual Property


Huband, Frank L., ASEE Prism


THIS MONTH'S COVER STORY, "A Challenging Matchup" is about some of the thorny issues surrounding intellectual property. This subject has grown large as companies and universities are more and more finding themselves at the negotiation table over ownership, licensing, royalties and a number of other concerns surrounding intellectual property. The day of the quick deal is gone, and today, negotiations can take a year or more, and lawyers' fees can end up exceeding the value of the contract. Many companies feel if they've funded the research, they should have exclusive and sole rights to all the resulting intellectual property. Universities respond that the contracted research builds on years of prior research at the university not funded by the company. Such differences can cause negotiations to drag on. Lack of agreement over such issues has caused Corporate America to seek solutions elsewhere, in some cases taking its research proposals to foreign schools.

This cover story segues into another Prism story, Tom Grose's story on the shortage of engineers in India, which has the world's second-fastestgrowing economy. Things are booming over there, and to cope with this exploding growth, India needs engineers-about 65,000 additional grads a year for its IT sector and about another 10,000 for everything else, from autos to chemicals to energy. …

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