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Re: Franz Flavors & software copyright
- To: fateman%ucbdali@Berkeley
- Subject: Re: Franz Flavors & software copyright
- From: John R Ellis <Ellis@YALE.ARPA>
- Date: Tue, 28 Feb 84 06:53:48 GMT
- Cc: franz-friends%ucbdali@Berkeley
- In-reply-to: fateman%ucbdali@UCB-VAX.ARPA, Mon, 27 Feb 84 22:12:58 pst
- Original-date: Tue, 28 Feb 84 01:53:48 EST
Because patents have been covered by explicit agreement every place
I've worked (Harvard, MIT, UC Berkeley, and various industrial firms),
I assume if there were no agreements of that nature that universities
would NOT own patents at all.
Whether or not universities own patents without a contract clause is
besides the point. My lawyer's argument was that there was ample precedent
in patent law that considers faculty as employees of universities and
their research as a normal part of their employment (i.e. "work for hire").
Thus he considered it likely that the same definitions would apply to
I disagree: writing programs is NOT part of a computer science
professor's research. It is usually quite incidental to his research:
He doesn't get paid depending upon the production of a program or
Funny, I can name at least three professors at Yale, two of them tenured,
for whom writing real programs is an essential part of their research.
I'm sure there are many other professors at other institutions who consider
programming an integral part of their research. Whether or not a professor
is paid for the production of a particular program is irrelevant: all
that matters is whether the programming was part of the normal activities
of his employment.