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Eagle gets copy of contract Motorola signed with Texas A&M and other universities - The Eagle: News

Eagle gets copy of contract Motorola signed with Texas A&M and other universities

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Posted: Thursday, September 19, 2013 12:00 am

When the Texas A&M University System landed a potentially lucrative research contract with Google subsidiary Motorola this summer, top administrators said the agreement could funnel millions of private research dollars to College Station. But neither Motorola nor Texas A&M was forthcoming with the actual agreement signed by the public university, and the office of Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott issued an opinion this month that the contract should remain confidential.

Still, The Eagle has obtained a copy of the contract, and a law professor specializing in intellectual property said there is nothing unusual about the document.

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13 comments:

  • elf posted at 2:39 pm on Fri, Sep 20, 2013.

    elf Posts: 1594

    I wish you would stick to one avatar.

     
  • techag posted at 1:47 pm on Fri, Sep 20, 2013.

    techag Posts: 206

    The only reason they are excluded is because the money is given to non-profits (TAMU Foundation). The foundation in turn gives it to A&M. So the only official name that has to be on any paperwork is that of the foundation.

     
  • obasfirst posted at 11:20 pm on Thu, Sep 19, 2013.

    obasfirst Posts: 668

    "Here, the A&M System is currently negotiating a major sponsored research agreement with another private company."

    A few weeks ago there was a meeting (streamed live online through the A&M teleconference site) between people from the system, computational scientists from A&M and IBM. I guess that private partner is not that secret.

     
  • jer2 posted at 5:47 pm on Thu, Sep 19, 2013.

    jer2 Posts: 314

    Much ado about nothing.

     
  • jer2 posted at 5:46 pm on Thu, Sep 19, 2013.

    jer2 Posts: 314

    All conspiracy theories from you. How is your internal investigation going?

     
  • elf posted at 3:09 pm on Thu, Sep 19, 2013.

    elf Posts: 1594

    Secrecy and unethical or illegal activities go hand in hand. Perry, Sharp, and now Abbott are known for their secret activities. We need to replace Perry's cronies. I am sure we will find out what's wrong with this contract, sooner or later.

     
  • Sabio posted at 1:30 pm on Thu, Sep 19, 2013.

    Sabio Posts: 1734

    For what it's worth, donations to public universities are specifically excluded in the FOIA Law. No public university is obligated to share any donor information with the public.

     
  • Nightowl posted at 12:28 pm on Thu, Sep 19, 2013.

    Nightowl Posts: 28

    This contract is not about donations, but about an agreement between a State agency and a private company. It is my opinion that there should never be a time when a contract between a State agency and others should be private. The public has a right to know what the State agencies and government are doing. It keeps out favoritism. Granted, personal donations should be kept private, however the total donation should and must be included in the total of all donations.

     
  • agnerd posted at 10:28 am on Thu, Sep 19, 2013.

    agnerd Posts: 799

    "If money were flowing out of government entity then of course that would all be public, but if money is simply flowing in then that apparently isn't covered by the public information act and I think that should be fixed,"

    I disagree. If I make an annonymous donation to A&M's scholarship fund, it is because I want to remain annonymous. I also don't want anyone poking around my tax return. Any money I give to the government and any contracts associated with that transaction should remain private.

     
  • txswinner posted at 9:34 am on Thu, Sep 19, 2013.

    txswinner Posts: 24

    IP and its management are very interesting topics for some of us. One has to wonder why there were so many hoops to go through to get to that story. Must have been excess of caution in each turn, from Motorola/Google, to the System, to Abbott. There is no indication that other AG's got involved in this, only that Caltech joined the appeal process with A&M. Still, very interesting story.

     
  • Sabio posted at 8:50 am on Thu, Sep 19, 2013.

    Sabio Posts: 1734

    This isn't a Texas A&M issue, only one of the 8 schools were willing to share a copy of the contract. That means 7 other State's Attorney General were asked to opine.

    The Freedom of Information laws of the various states allow for some things to be kept private. The process is reasonable to ensure the privacy of those needing protection, and to determine what information the public has a right to know.

    My point stands. This wasn't a story about the contract, it was a story about FOIA issues. And, in the end, this was much ado about nothing, other than The Eagle complaining that it had to follow the law.

     
  • techag posted at 7:21 am on Thu, Sep 19, 2013.

    techag Posts: 206

    If nothing unusual is happening, why was there such urgency in hiding the contract?

     
  • Sabio posted at 5:57 am on Thu, Sep 19, 2013.

    Sabio Posts: 1734

    So, the story is that there is nothing unusual about the contract? Apparently so. Why didn't the Eagle headline the story, "The Eagle jumps through lots of hoops to find out nothing unusual is happening."

    That's what really happened here.

     

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