Facebook IPO Belies Perils of Collegiate Inventors
The Boston Globe, May 16, 2012
4 Pages Posted: 16 May 2012 Last revised: 6 Jun 2015
Date Written: May 16, 2012
This essay criticizes university policies that allow institutions to take ownership of their students' inventions. This is an increasingly common occurrence that receives far less attention than it deserves. It is also an important, but virtually unknown, part of the Facebook success story. Stanford made over $300 million by claiming an ownership stake in Google and the University of Illinois almost killed Netscape in its infancy by suing its founders, but Harvard allowed Facebook to grow and thrive without interference. Harvard's hands-off approach has been a boon to both the university and Facebook, and hopefully will serve as an example for universities the world over.
Keywords: student inventors, university technology transfer, university TTLO, university TTO, university patent, Facebook, Facebook IPO, Harvard, Netscape, University of Illinois
JEL Classification: I22, K00, O34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation