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07.03.13

The University of California Misuses Taxpayers’ Money by Using it to Harm Public, Commerce

Posted in Patents at 11:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

University of California seal

Summary: The University of California is still feeding patent trolls

Several years ago we wrote about universities that sell patents to patent trolls. This is an injustice as taxpayers pay for those patents and then get taxed by these. Intellectual Ventures is most notorious among hoarders of universities’ patents. It is a known problem that people use public funding in universities (research grants) to gain private monopolies with which to make private businesses and monopolies. Those patents that should have been public domain (if any are gained). But to sell those monopolies to trolls is far worse. Here is a rebuttal to this practice:

At the end of last year, we wrote about an extraordinary attempt by the University of California (UC) to resuscitate the infamous “Eolas” patents that were thrown out earlier by a jury in East Texas. Clearly, the University of California likes patents, and the way that they can be used to extract money from people with very little effort. In fact, it likes them so much it is trying to privatize research produced by taxpayer-funded laboratories so that even more patents can be taken out on the work, and even more money obtained through licensing them…

People should be more open to criticise universities that hoard patents. I used to challenge my employers over it. More people need to challenge them in order for this culture of monopolisation (at the public’s expense) to stop. I would never file for a patent even if I got paid for it. It’s like preparing a weapon rather than a product like software anyone can download, improve, and share. Universities should fundamentally defend a culture of sharing.

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