Georgia Tech Fights Prof, Others Over Chip Startups | Prof in Jail

From the darker side of entrepreneurship on campus. Technology transfer gone wrong at Georgia Tech. From the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s George Mathis:

The university claims the group is responsible for funneling about $2 million in school funds to a company owned by microchip professor Joy Laskar, 47, and research engineer Stephane Pinel, 36. Also charged is office administrator Chris Evans, 56.

The men reported to the Fulton County Jail after arrest warrants were obtained by the GBI in connection with an ongoing investigation into misappropriation of funds and resources from the school’s Georgia Electronic Design Center, GBI spokesman John Bankhead said Saturday.

As part of the investigation, the GBI executed search warrants on May 17 that included nine locations on campus as well as two residences, said Bankhead.

Laskar’s attorney Craig Gillen said his client and Georgia Tech were business partners. He said the school took advantage of Laskar’s brilliance in the field of microchips.

“He and his team had founded a company that had perfected a chip that might well be worth millions and millions of dollars. Now, Georgia Tech had a piece of that… Apparently they wanted more,” Gillen told Channel 2’s Richard Belcher.

The Bayh-Dole Act has led to some strange outcomes in various places. BTW, Gatorade’s inventors at University of Florida had major legal issues in the past. Though those were fights over profits.

As the lawyer for the professor points out, the chip ‘might’ be worth ‘millions and millions’ — meaning the fight here is over funds for growth, not from profits. Gatorade was worth hundreds of millions when the legal battles ramped up.

Again, thought I’d share some of the darker side of campus entrepreneurship in this entry.

via Tech professor, 2 others face $2 million racketeering charge  | ajc.com.

2 thoughts on “Georgia Tech Fights Prof, Others Over Chip Startups | Prof in Jail

  1. Ashley Stevens

    George may have the facts over this case right, but he has the facts over Gatorade completely wrong. I heard Robert Cade give an account of Gatorade five years before his death. I then went and visited him and have since researched the story extensively.

    Cade offered Gatorade to the University of Florida, who turned him down. He then set out to commercialize it himself, and succeeded in getting a deal with the Stokely Van Camp Company to fund the test market needed to show it would sell. At this point, the University of Florida essentially told him that they’d never put their decision in writing and they had now decided they did want it. They then sued Cade and the Trust he’d created to share any profits with the people who’d helped him create Gatorade. This was way, way before the commercial potential of the product had been shown.

    By the way, the outcome of the Court case was that Cade and the Trust got 80% of the money and the University got 20%. So when the University brags that they’ve made over $100 million from Gatorade, go figure what Cade and the Trust made…………….

  2. Thank you for your insights Dr. Stevens. I have only read Darren Rovell’s account (First in Thirst) and found it to be a fascinating story. Have you published any of your research on Cade, Stokely, and U of F?

    Thanks again for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

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