A quip about government bailouts of private corporations is “Socialized losses, private profits.” When these companies fail it is at the tax victims’ expense but when they succeed it is to their personal profits. But government bailouts aren’t the only situations where this phrase is applicable. Public universities receive a great deal of tax victim money and often profit from it tremendously:
Apple Inc could be facing up to $862 million in damages after a U.S. jury on Tuesday found the iPhone maker used technology owned by the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s licensing arm without permission in chips found in many of its most popular devices.
The jury in Madison, Wisconsin also said the patent, which improves processor efficiency, was valid. The trial will now move on to determine how much Apple owes in damages.
Representatives for the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) and Apple could not immediately be reached for comment.
WARF sued Apple in January 2014 alleging infringement of its 1998 patent for improving chip efficiency.
Ask yourself this, why should a publicly funded university be allowed to declare a legal monopoly on an idea? Taxes, which is to say the public, paid for the research so the only fair trade would be for any findings to be placed in the public domain. But that’s not the case. Universities can socialize the losses of research and privatize the profits.
Why do so many people whine when private corporations get away with this shit but say nothing with a public university does? I’m part of the club that views both with equal revile but, sadly, it is a very small club.