The professor's privilege
There is concern that academic exemptions from patenting laws may hinder the development of lucrative products. Edward Farrington and Richard Wolff of Valea explore the Swedish situation
In most employer-employee relationships in the majority of
jurisdictions around the world employers own the rights to any
intellectual property that employees generate when carrying out
their work. In this way, employers secure their rights to
intellectual property generated within a firm or organization
without the need for special assignments or contracts
regulating IP rights.
However, for a long time Swedish law has excluded academia
from this principle. Researchers and academics working in
colleges and universities in Sweden automatically own the right
to inventions and copyright works that they produce. Decisions
about whether to patent research results, how to commercialize
intellectual property, and even to whom to license ideas and
inventions, lie with the individual academic. Academics are
exempt from the regular laws surrounding patent ownership,
giving rise to the academic exemption
lärarundantaget, also known as the Professor's
Academic freedoms The academic exemption in Sweden regarding
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