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Intellectual Property Issues in College-Industry Partnerships

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

CIP Division Technical Session 1

Tagged Division

College Industry Partnerships

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.791.1 - 23.791.11



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Paper Authors


Lori Glover J.D. Worcester Polytechnic Institute

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Lori Glover J.D. is the assistant vice president for Corporate Engagement at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester Massachusetts. She focuses on creating long term strategic partnerships for the university and is responsible for industry contract negotiation.

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Todd S. Keiller Worcester Polytechnic Institute

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Todd Keiller joined Worcester Polytechnic Institute in October 2011 to run the technology transfer office. Keiller brings over 30 years of licensing, business development, and marketing experience. He has worked for sixteen years in the industrial sector in a variety of sales, marketing, and business development roles, ten of which were with Corning Glass Works in their Science and Medical Products Divisions. He has over 20 years of academic licensing experience and is the former vice president of Ventures of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and formed the technology commercialization office at the University of Vermont. While at UVM, he formed UVM Ventures, an internal gap fund intended to create a “valley of birth” by funding projects that had commercial promise but were too early for initial outside investment. He is in the process of doing the same at WPI. Keiller has founded or co-founded six companies independent of his academic tech transfer spin outs. Keiller holds an A.B. from Dartmouth College and an M.B.A. from the Tuck School of Business Administration.

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Intellectual Property issues in College-Industry PartnershipsThe landscape has changed. Global competition, shrinking government research dollars andcorporate strategy on selecting university partners have had a significant impact on the waycolleges and universities interact/partner with industry. And an ever pressing issue in thesecollaborations is Intellectual Property.This paper will address the main issues affecting academic/industry collaboration in regards toIntellectual Property. Concepts such as the Work for hire doctrine, copyright and patents will allbe addressed as they impact the relationship. Furthermore, the changes brought about by theAmerica Invents Act will be examined in regards to the impact on faculty research as well ascorporate partnerships.In addition, the paper will examine fundamental tensions in the academic/industry partnership.For example, academic endeavors seeking to create public knowledge are clearly at odds withindustry desire to own and commercialize IP. Issues such as ‘open source code’ present uniquechallenges to academic/industry collaborations.However, looking to the future, industry will play a very important role in academic research.For many faculty and university administrators, the ability to cement relationships with keyindustry sponsors will be necessary for advancement/competitiveness of their university in theyears to come. To understand the IP issues from both sides may help foster a better appreciationfor what each side brings to the table and, hopefully, a foundation for a better partnership.

Glover, L., & Keiller, T. S. (2013, June), Intellectual Property Issues in College-Industry Partnerships Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19805

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