Resources > Controversial Cases

Case 1: A Classic Case
Case 2: Bossy Boss
  • A class project was completed by a group of 3 undergraduate students, a (self-paid) MBA student, and a Ph.D. student on scholarship. Now a corporate sponsor of the class claimed that they had an employee who co-invented the technology as part of the project brainstorming team.
  • The sponsor had contributed the problem for the project team to solve, and donated money and even allowed the students to use their lab to build the prototype. The sponsor also shows interest in hiring some project team members, and believes they have the right of first refusal to an exclusive license of the IP.
  • A group of students were directed by a professor in their project work, where the professor claims that all patentable ideas came from him alone, that the students were merely following his instructions to build a demo system. They did not record the events in a lab notebook, but there are traces in emails hinting at a messy process of IP creation.
  • Furthermore, the professor claims ownership of an accompanying software program that the students developed, under his direction and specific instructions.