University of California/Davis Professor Jonathan A. Eisen published a blog titled, Wondering- Can UC Really Force Me to Sign New Patent Agreements, In it he presents the letters sent to all faculty from the UC Davis Provost, and asks whether he can be "forced" to sign the amendment to his original employment agreement. Professor Eisen, along with a growing faculty community across the State are now wondering the same thing.
These actions by UC Davis correspond to other university policies being implemented nationwide to secure faculty intellectual property assignments in light of the Supreme Court decision on Stanford v Roche. This landmark case clarifies the long running misinterpretation of the Bayh-Dole Act by ruling that faculty inventors do retain the rights to their inventions unless they specifically assign those rights to their university.
IP Advocate will launch as education and awareness campaign this quarter to help faculty and student researchers become aware of this ruling and its impact on their intellectual property rights.
"IP Advocate believes it is incumbent upon the university and its technology transfer office to ensure the equitable consideration of its researchers in the licensing and commercialization process," said executive director Rhaz Zeisler. "Further, we believe that what lies at the heart of this dispute was not simple contract language alone, but rather a deeper interpretation of what the role of a university is to its faculty research community, clearly laid out in Bayh-Dole", Zeisler said.
Read Can UC Really Force me to Sign? Also Read UC Patent Amendment: To Sign or Not to Sign by Adam Burgasser, where he questions whether "these changes are necessary" and, "what legal obligations are at stake?"