Phillips, like Suppes, is frustrated with the technology transfer process at the University, but remains loyal to the institution itself. "The faculty inventors love the University and want it to succeed" according to Phillips, but, "the real challenge is dealing with the administrators. They say you're not a team player, but I am the ultimate team player. The University of Missouri has great potential and always will. It's right around the corner, but they won't let us get it."
Even Forsee admitted in his State of the University address earlier in 2009 that "our University has not done a great job" in its commercialization efforts. With this on the record, one wonders if the right hand at Missouri knows who the left hand is suing?
When dismissing the case at the Federal level, U.S. District Court Judge Scott O. Wright said the question of when Suppes conceived of and completed his invention might not be a legal one. "Plaintiff has not cited a specific section of the Patent Act that would support its allegation that 'determination of the date of invention, including the date of conception and the date of reduction to practice, is a question exclusively governed by federal patent law.' Rather, when an invention was conceived is more a question of common sense than of patent law," the court said.
Undaunted by the University's legal move of filing in the county courts, Suppes plans to file a countersuit himself in Boone County. He believes "the county court with its emphasis on contract law is a more appropriate venue to focus on the key issues than a Federal court under the context of patent law issues."
Dr. Suppes recently said that he will stay on at the University of Missouri because he remains committed to the University's core mission of teaching, research and service. He is still employed there and says he has no plans to leave.
The researcher is standing firm on behalf of the faculty inventors at MU, who, Suppes says, "...are held hostage by indifferent administrators and reams of red tape that crush faculty morale. What's been needed for a long, long time is someone to stand up to them. I happen to be the person who, finally it was worth it to me to stand up to them."