Invent something at a university? The size of any future fortune will depend on which one

Claire Brownell, Financial Post, Aug 07, 2016
Commentary by Stephen Downes
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Who should own the intellectual property arising out of a student's work on a thesis, or a professor's work in academia? How about government researchers? With respect to the former, the Financial Post reflexively says "institutions should get out of the way as much as possible." But it's far from clear institutions are actually in the way - they may well have created the conditions that made the invention possible in the first place. And not everyone wants to become an entrepreneur. Though if it's a student, iit should be clear that they are not employees and should own what they create outright. So in fact the best approach might be what we actually have in Canada, a patchwork of approaches that attract different types of academics. And as for government institutions? Give it back to the people in the form off public domain knowledge, or give the developer room to spin it off as a new enterprise. The worst thing to do is to give government-created IP to large corporations (especially foreign corporations).

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