Positive on IP reforms

December 9, 2005

Sir John Sulston is rightly concerned that we need to get our scholarly work into the public domain ("Laureate warns over intellectual property reform", November 25), and Cambridge has gone further than any other university in making clear that, subject to constraints accepted as a condition of receiving external grants for the work, we are free to publish even when this compromises the scope for patent filing.

Ross Anderson's remark that "IP generated in Cambridge will be controlled by university administrators rather than its creator" is surprising. The policy is the opposite: it is the inventor who will determine the course of exploitation after patents are filed; the university is there to provide support, but no more.

The IP policy will not "damage... the entrepreneurialspirit of the university". I have co-founded two companies, both based on patented research done in the university, and the proposed regulations would have made the process of getting the companies set up considerably easier.

Sir Richard Friend
Cavendish Laboratory
Cambridge University

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