The University of Missouri in Columbia | Terry Robinson/Flickr

Court sides with UM System in intellectual property case



The Missouri Court of Appeals has upheld a 2017 decision that sided with the University of Missouri System in a decadelong intellectual property dispute with a former University of Missouri professor.

The lower court found the professor, Galen Suppes, responsible for breach of contract for submitting a patent application without giving the UM System ownership rights.

The UM System filed a suit against Suppes in 2009 claiming that his invention, a technology that can transform a byproduct of biofuel production into a food-safe antifreeze, was created on MU property using MU equipment while Suppes was an MU employee. According to UM System rules and regulations, that gives the system the right to claim ownership of the technology.

Employees are required by UM System rules to disclose inventions and assign their ownership rights to the system. The employee may only file patent applications if the UM System chooses to waive ownership rights.

The UM System was awarded $600,000 in damages after the 2017 court decision.

Read more: Columbia Missourian

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