[time-nuts] oscillators

Jim Lux jimlux at earthlink.net
Fri Aug 31 00:11:50 UTC 2012

On 8/30/12 12:37 PM, Bob Camp wrote:
> Hi
> The original patents on the MCXO are government property. One of the Ft.
> Monmouth guys came up with the fundamental / third overtone idea back in the
> 80's. Several (at least three) companies were licensed by the government to
> make the part.

Gotta be careful there..

A lot of times these days, the government doesn't own the patent, they 
get a "government use" license.  If it was a civil servant doing the 
work, then, yes, government owns it, and anyone can use it.  However, if 
it was a contractor at a government facility, or developed under a 
contract (particularly a university), then it might be much stickier. 
If you wanted to build something to sell to the government, then getting 
a license is easy.  But for the general public, perhaps not.

Working at JPL, which is part of Cal Tech, on NASA's nickle, we're made 
VERY aware of exactly who owns the fruits of our brains, and who gets to 
use it.  The Bayh Dole act has many unexpected consequences.

These days, a lot of the people working at government labs are not civil 
servants, but are "Technical Support and Engineering Personnel".  This 
allows them to report a lower headcount of government employees.

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