...at least in this case; unless you're prepared to fight.By Kent Shocknek

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I’m not sure this incentive, for the aspiring inventor: the University of Missouri, in Columbia, made a claim against a couple of  students who developed a smart phone app in class. If it matters (and apparently to U of M, it did), the app kept track of nearby apartment vacancies.

University lawyers –once they saw it’d had a quarter of a million downloads– said “Hey! you did that on our time and dime!”  Or, words to that effect.  “Bite me!,” responded Tony Brown and his colleagues. Or , words to that effect.  The school wanted 2/3rds of Brown’s profits.  But he stood fast. And believe it or not, he won.

But he ruined it for everybody who follows him: the University of Missouri, now has a policy that n ew  inventions that students come up with belong to the folks in the ivory tower. Watch for a future rash of second-rate products to be developed in class, with amazingly similar, but better-tuned versions created completely on the students’ own time.

Comments (4)
  1. Evan says:


    Your last paragraph is wrong. The school wrote rules specifying that students have ownership rights over inventions they create on their own time or through extracurricular activities.

  2. Alex says:

    Why does the school care? If the students think there’s something more productive they can do than pay attention in the lecture that costs them ~$150, they should be allowed to do it.

  3. Rich says:

    The Students paid for all the time at that college.
    It is there time fair and square, as long as they were not working for the school.
    So “BITE ME” is the proper response, along with get a life and a real job.
    Also this is really nothing new many colleges have a standard formula
    if you used there lab’s etc.
    As long as you know whats up from the beginning.

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