The work-for-hire doctrine for copyright gives employers copyright on
things their employees produce as part of their job duties, just as you
say. I'm not familiar with the patent-law situation.
> That employer-employee relationship is clearly transitive,
> and has been in the past. So, if you're entering into
> a contract with a Univ, and they entered into a contract
> with the US Govt, then they have reasonably transferred their
> rights of ownership to the US Govt.
This is not correct within the work-for-hire doctrine; a university
cannot be an employee, only a contractor. Contractors don't fall under
the work-for-hire doctrine; copyrights on work done by a contractor are
owned by the contractor, not their client, absent other WRITTEN
Again, I know nothing about the patent situation.
> Signing a patent agreement isn't necessarily required
> for any of this to take effect. Cashing a check is sufficient.
I'd be interested to hear where you studied patent law.
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