Sunday, August 18, 2019

Israel Institution Files Lawsuit Against Professor for Alleged Blockchain Intellectual Property Violation

Technion, Israel Institute of Technology has filed a civil suit against Prof. Eli Ben-Sasson, a senior lecturer at the Technion’s Faculty of Computer Science. According to Technion, Ben-Sasson is using the blockchain intellectual property he had acquired in the school to set up his company, Starcower. Technion is asking for a 50 percent share in the company, reports a local media outlet on April 22.

Technion Files Civil Lawsuit Against Professor

Per the report, Technion has filed a civil suit against Prof. Eli Ben-Sasson on the grounds that the idea which was used to startup Starcower was acquired while researching at the institution for several years. Technion also outlined that the intellectual property itself was developed from the grants it had offered to the senior lecturer during the research.

Furthermore, the professor had quietly decided to set up his company and commercialize these ideas without informing the school. According to them, anyone who intends to do so is usually required to notify the school in order to be granted approval and for equal shares decided upon. The school also encourages the commercialization of knowledge in order to promote science but then, it must be done without violating Technion’s intellectual property regulations

Company Does Not Intend to Use Any of the School’s Property

Galai Sharir, Ben Sasson’s attorney while responding to the lawsuit revealed that his client does not intend to use any of the school’s property in his new company. Rather, from the series funding which was able to raise millions of dollars, he is hiring new workers for the company that will develop their own intellectual property to launch the software.

Galai Sharir also said that it is not left for Technion to determine the share they own in the company, but for the company to decide. Sharir, however, revealed that Ben Sasson and the company have decided to give the school “a certain share of ownership in the company, solely out of respect and respect for the Technion.”

Prof. Eli Ben-Sasson’s lawyer who made comments said:

Prof. Ben Sasson did not steal anything from the Technion and did not act in the dark, but openly and correctly, as will be seen in the court.

Starkware, the company in question, was able to raise $30 million in a financing round. Some investors who were a part are Consensys, Sequoia, Atomico, Coinbase Ventures, Collaborative Fund, Intel Capital, Semantic Ventures, and Scalar Capital. It was also able to raise $6 million in another funding round in May.

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