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A prominent professor and researcher from the University of Missouri is mired in legal controversy, accused by the school of altering official forms and breaching his employment contract for failing to assign rights in some of his inventions. But from the professor's perspective, the issue is systemic flaws in the University's technology transfer commercialization system.

While the inventor tried to work within the school's own grievance resolution process, the University halted their internal mechanism and filed a lawsuit in Federal court. When the Federal court dismissed the claim for lack of jurisdiction, the school filed a nearly identical suit in county court the same day the Federal suit was rejected.

This case is instructive on the chasm that can develop between a university and its inventors when goals are not aligned and faculty scientists see their research go fallow and then expire unrecognized and devalued.

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Navigating University Technology Transfer

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