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  • ItemOpen Access
    A Brief History of BioPerl
    (2016-03-08) Crossman, Colin; Rai, Arti K.
    Large-scale open-source projects face a litany of pitfalls and difficulties. Problems of contribution quality, credit for contributions, project coordination, funding, and mission-creep are ever-present. Of these, long-term funding and project coordination can interact to form a particularly difficult problem for open-source projects in an academic environment. BioPerl was chosen as an example of a successful academic open-source project. Several of the roadblocks and hurdles encountered and overcome in the development of BioPerl are examined through the telling of the history of the project. Along the way, key points of open-source law are explained, such as license choice and copyright. The BioPerl project current status is then analyzed, and four different strategies typically employed by traditional open-source projects at this stage are analyzed as future directions. Strategies such as soliciting donations, securing grants, providing dual-licenses to enhance commercial interest, and the paid provision of support have all been employed in various traditional open-source projects with success, but each has drawbacks when applied to the academy. Finally, the construction of a successful long-term strategy for BioPerl, and other academic open-source projects, is proposed so that such projects can navigate the difficulties.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Case Study: The Axel Patents-A Case Study in University-Technology Transfer
    (2013-11-25) Colaianni, Alessandra
    The Axel Patents are among the most lucrative university patents in history, earning $790 million in royalty revenues for Columbia University. This paper tells the story of the Axel Patents, from the initial scientific discovery, through the decision to patent, to the non-exclusive licensing strategies Columbia used to spread the technology, the measures Columbia took to extend the life of the patents, and the controversy that erupted when another patent was issued in 2002. Columbia plowed most of the revenues back into research, including Richard Axel's work that earned him a Nobel Prize. Columbia's aggressive pursuit of extended patent duration, however, also led it to considerable legal expenditures that have proven fruitless to date, and brought criticism for behavior unbecoming a nonprofit academic institution. This case study showcases a highly successful example of university entrepreneurship, and provides a cautionary tale of an attempted patent extension.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Bead Array Powerpoint Presentation
    (2013-11-25) Parsons, Deirdre