We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all faculty are created equal, that they are endowed by their Institutions of High Education with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are transparency of process, a voice in disposition of intellectual property, and the pursuit of fair dealing. That to secure these rights, Universities are instituted among researchers, deriving their just powers from the consent of the faculty… (adapted from Declaration of Independence)
Most technology commercialization professional understand the importance of building strong partnerships with our faculty innovators. Though we understand that service to faculty is a primary mission, it is sometimes easy to forget that faculty inventors may not see it the same way. What one may see as a straight forward stepwise commercialization process, another may see as a series of obstacles to overcome to achieve commercialization.
Part of the reason the productivity of our industry has been called into question of late - and new models such as the ‘inventor free agent’ concept have achieved some traction - has been the result of isolated system failures in working with faculty inventors. The creation of a standardized “Inventors’ Bill of Rights” that all academic institutions can adopt would be a powerful message to our faculty that they are indeed an integral part of the commercialization process, service to faculty is indeed an integral part of the process, and commercialization is indeed a true partnership.
BILL OF RIGHTS
1. Faculty and students have the right to freedom of expression, and the right to teach and publish their research shall not be abridged by Intellectual Property Policy. Universities shall ensure that technology commercialization activities (including the filing of patent applications) shall not unreasonably delay publication of research results.