International Activities Basics: Export Controls and Economic Sanctions in the University Context

March 2019

All U.S. individuals and institutions must comply with federal export control and sanctions laws. These laws restrict the sharing of certain controlled materials and information outside the U.S., and prohibit doing business with certain specified persons or countries, or persons resident in certain countries.  It is important to keep these laws and regulations in mind whenever you are engaging in international activities or with international visitors.  MIT maintains a website with detailed...

The Unique Role and Value of FFRDCs like MIT Lincoln Laboratory in the Government-Industry Innovation Ecosystem

February 2019

In 1951, MIT began operating what is today known as the MIT Lincoln Laboratory Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC).  FFRDCs like MIT Lincoln Laboratory are unique entities that have a deep and long term record of making meaningful contributions to the national defense. These contributions derive directly from two distinguishing characteristics of FFRDCs:  1) they have a long term special relationship with the U.S. government; and 2) they operate free from conflicts of interest and commercial profit motive.  The combination of these characteristics...

Highest Court in Massachusetts Sides with MIT in Student Suicide Lawsuit

September 2018

In a significant ruling for MIT and all of higher education, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) ruled in May that MIT, two of its professors, and a student support dean were not responsible for the 2009 suicide of a Sloan graduate student, Han Nguyen.  In ruling for MIT, the SJC recognized a very limited legal duty of universities and their non-clinician employees to take measures to protect against student self-harm, but found that the duty was not triggered in this case.

MIT Joins 15 Universities in Filing Amicus Brief in Harvard Admissions Lawsuit

August 2018

On July 30, 2018, MIT, together with 15 other universities, filed an amicus brief with the federal district court in Boston in the lawsuit Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. Harvard.

Update on MIT Intellectual Property Policy 13.1.2 - Programs Exempt from MIT's "Significant Use" Policy

July 2018

Recently, MIT changed Section 13.1.2 (“Significant Use of MIT-Administered Resources”) of the Intellectual Property Policy to acknowledge and support its entrepreneurial culture by permitting inventors and authors of intellectual property (IP) developed with MIT funds or facilities to own such IP, if the work was conducted under a MIT “Exempt Program.”