Friday, December 15, 2006

IBM and universities open up software research

From the IHT: IBM and U.S. universities work to open up software research

"The initiative, which IBM was expected to announce Thursday, is a break with the usual pattern of corporate- sponsored research at universities that typically involves lengthy negotiations over intellectual property rights.

The projects are also evidence that U.S. companies and universities are searching for ways to work together more easily, less hampered by legal wrangling about who holds the patents to research...

The current problem, research experts say, is that well-intentioned policies meant to encourage universities to make their research available for commercial uses have gone too far. The shift began with the Bayh-Dole Act of 1980, which allowed universities to hold the patents on federally funded research and to license that intellectual property. Since then, universities have often viewed themselves as idea factories and, like many corporations, have sought to cash in on their intellectual property.

But there is a sense at both universities and corporations that the pendulum has swung too far, and that adopting less restrictive intellectual property policies could benefit both sides."

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