Thursday, September 11, 2014

Questions raised about intellectual property rights at Pitt; Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 9/11/14

Bill Schackner, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; Questions raised about intellectual property rights at Pitt:
"The University of Pittsburgh is telling all faculty and nonclerical staff they must sign agreements stating they “irrevocably assign and transfer to the university my rights, title and interest to all intellectual property” they develop while employed there.
The administration says the agreements simply reflect existing campus intellectual property policies and that the signatures have become necessary to obtain federal research funding because of a 2011 Supreme Court case that Pitt says requires schools not only to have policies but also confirmation that employees will abide by them.
But an official with the American Association of University Professors, which has seen a number of agreements drafted by schools since the Stanford vs. Roche decision, said Wednesday such signatures are not a requirement to secure grant funding. Forcing faculty to sign them is a violation of academic freedom, said Cary Nelson, AAUP’s immediate past president."

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