Fenn obit in The Scientist mentions patent problems
Chemist John Fenn, who shared the 2002 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for vastly improving the ability of mass spectrometry to identify large proteins, passed away on Friday at the age of 93. As a Yale professor, Fenn developed a technique called electrospray ionization, in which a strong electric field is used to “unclump” bulky proteins, making them discernible as individual molecules in a mass spectrometer. His work netted him science’s highest honor, but according to the New York Times, legal wrangling over the patent rights cost Fenn $1 million in fines after he personally patented the process and licensed it to a company he co-founded—against Yale policy.
Spicer sues Yale University over patent royalties
Electrospray mass spectrometry of John Fenn; Bayh-Dole dispute
**The obit for Fenn in Science did not mention the patent matter but did note the following:
"The problem with education today is that the material goes from the notebook of the Professor to the notebook of the student without going through the minds of either of them."
331 Science 160 (14 Jan 2011)