Stanford has a different business model than most universities. Give away the IP (mostly) and make money from donations.
— Chris Dixon (@cdixon) September 27, 2014
When we first started ArrayFire, we were students. We wanted to be unambiguously clear of any future IP entanglement with the university, so we went through a disclosure process and Georgia Tech properly paved the path for us to own the IP free of any duties back to the university.
At the same time, we were working on a product with an Emory professor. With the professor, we disclosed our software invention to Emory University’s Office of Technology Licensing. It was clear that they were not willing to waive their rights. So it took the wind out of the sails of our desire to start that business, and we shut down our efforts.
Stanford is much more liberal with not claiming a stake in the IP generated, as the tweet above states.
I believe that in most cases universities do a disservice by trying to hold onto equity from the startups founded on its campus. In a few cases, it can make sense. But in most cases, universities should encourage commercial motivations for innovation, which will invariably lead to so many indirect ways in which monetization will occur (donations just being one of many). I have written previously about commercializing university IP.
What are your thoughts on university IP licensing?