On December 1, 2011 a University-wide email was sent out by VR Election Services on behalf of the University of California, San Diego. This email directed faculty to follow a link that required their signature on a Patent Amendment of the 1997 UC Patent Agreement. To drive the point home even further, the subject line of the email instructs faculty to "PLEASE SIGN NOW" when in fact, the signature deadline is not until February 29th, 2012.
However, despite assurances from the UCSD administration that the Amendment merely "clarifies the existing Acknowledgment or Agreement in light of ... court decisions" and makes no change to current "employee rights regarding intellectual property with which they may be associated", some faculty members are now questioning whether the university is being forthright. They are concerned that their rights are being impinged upon.
A series of blogs written by UCSD faculty address their concerns over mandatory signing requirements. After close scrutiny of the Amendment in question, faculty have found much to object to, and are now questioning the University of Californiaâ€™s motives. Their concerns are over what, in reality, are an attempt to unilaterally change patent policy without contract negotiations, that are aimed at nullifying rights upheld by the recent Supreme Court landmark decision in the case of Stanford vs. Roche.
Read Adam Burgasserâ€™s piece, "To Sign or Not to Sign"