All posts by Paul Basken


Venture Capitalists Call Patent Aggregators Negative Forces for Innovation

As universities increasingly consider the possible use of patent-licensing and patent-litigation agencies, a couple of new studies by law professors may help them evaluate the pros and cons.

The studies, by Robin C. Feldman at the University of California’s Hastings College of the Law and Colleen V. Chien at Santa Clara University, both tackle the question by asking venture capitalists for their assessments of so-called patent trolls.

And in both studies, the researchers found that venture capit…


Universities, Desperate to Fight ‘Sequestration’ of Research Funds, Embrace a Corporate Ally

Washington — Back in 2011, as Republicans in the House of Representatives threatened to force a default on government debt in order to make President Obama accept deep budget cuts, the Northrop Grumman Corporation was showering them with campaign donations.

The defense contractor and its employees handed out $3.4-million in 2011, mostly to Republicans. Its leading beneficiary in Congress was Rep. Howard P. (Buck) McKeon of California, part of the Republican majority that blocked a debt-ceiling e…


Universities to Share $130-Million in Energy Grants

The U.S. Energy Department on Wednesday announced a new round of grants, totaling $130-million, for research into breakthrough energy technologies.

The recipients include more than two dozen universities, including Colorado State University, which will be working on ways of genetically engineering crops to make them more useful for biofuel production; Cornell University, which is developing an “algae-fuel reactor” that distributes sunlight more efficiently for use in algae-fuel production; a…