Thursday, March 18, 2010

Academic Inventor's Bill of Rights

The Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) kicked off it's annual meeting with the release of the Academic Inventor's Bill of Rights.

The Inventors’ Bill of Rights proposes, among other things:

  • Students and faculty have a right to freedom of expression; the right to teach and publish their research shall not be abridged by intellectual property policy.
  • Inventors shall be entitled to timely disposition of their inventions and to obtain access to inventions for which the University elects to discontinue commercialization effort, without onerous restrictions or obligations to the university that would act as disincentives to commercialize.
  • Universities must establish and publish transparent practices and procedures comprising their commercialization processes.
  • Inventors have the right to due process, conducted in public with public access to all records as they may request.
  • All inventors, including students and other subordinate persons, shall have equal right to institutional protection of their interests in their intellectual property regardless of academic rank or position.
  • Inventors have the right to be informed about any license negotiations or re-negotiations.
  • Any changes to intellectual property or commercialization policies shall be approved by the appropriate faculty-run governance body, such as a Faculty Senate.
  • Disputes shall be resolved by a committee that includes faculty, student and administrative representatives.
  • No university may require present assignment of future IP rights as a condition of employment or student enrollment.

Or, at a minimum:

  • Inventors who assign their IP to a university may elect a qualified independent agent to promote their invention into public use. The agent must represent the interests of the university, public and inventors. Election of an agent does not modify the pre-existing royalty sharing arrangements.

Read the press release at:

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