25 April 2009

Bun and Sixpence

The Royal Society of Chemistry's flagship blog, Chemistry World tells us that,

"Hagan Bayley from the University of Oxford was announced as the 2009 Chemistry World Entrepreneur of the Year."

Now, I don't have anything against Hagan Bayley, per se; in fact, following the link it is obvious that his work is very worthy.

Nor do I have a problem with the Royal Society of Chemistry having a Chemistry World Entrepreneur of the Year award. This is the very sort of thing that they should be doing; so, well done from me.

The problem with the story is that this appears to be an example of an academic having one full time paid up job and being allowed to become rich from doing his day job. I don't know the exact details with respect to Bayley, maybe the following is true of him, maybe not. I'm not interested in singling out an individual; I'm complaining about the phenomenon.

The beneficial interest in an employees' work belongs to his employer (for an exception see, Kelly v GE Healthcare).

If you want to be an entrepreneur perhaps you should consider ...
  1. Quitting your job.
  2. Raising your own capital.
  3. Not using any intellectual property gained from your previous employer for five years.
  4. Not using any contacts obtained from working for your employer for five years.

You know, the sort of hurdles that the rest of us have to try and surmount.

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