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March 20, 2002

Partnerships Between Universities and Industry

Author Affiliations

Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2002;287(11):1398-1400. doi:10.1001/jama.287.11.1395

To the Editor: Drs Gelijns and Thier1 discuss the role of patents in the university-industry relationship. The goal of a patent is to define and protect a particular item of intellectual property and limit its use by others. A patent's legal validity requires secrecy prior to filing the patent application. Universities exist to collect knowledge, objectively evaluate it, and make it available to students and society. The open flow of information and collaboration among colleagues is a fundamental feature of university life. The distinctly separate priorities of academic life and patent law are inherently incompatible.

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