Export Control - Case Studies

I. A recent Export Control case involves a University of Tennessee professor. In August 2008 a company formed to develop intellectual property (IP) at UT was found guilty of 10 counts of violating Export Control Regulation and could be subject to $10 million in fines. One of its professors, now an emeritus, faces criminal charges. The IP was owned by the university and licensed to this start-up. The company entered a research contract with the Air Force. In turn, the start-up entered into a contract with the professor and used university resources and graduate students to do the work. In the course of the work, the professor used several foreign nationals, including a Chinese grad student, despite the words in the contract which prohibited this.He also traveled to China in his capacity as a faculty member and carried some of the data from this contract. The University of Tennessee was not implicated by the grand jury, but the case does bring up a number of potential problems to consider:

  1. Export Control - Need to review policies and educate faculty on export control; revised policy handout based on consultants.
  2. Export control clauses - Recent amendment to the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation require export control clauses in contracts and faculty must read and heed these requirements.
  3. Universities must clarify rules and conditions on what faculty may do with outside contracts and universities must clarify what researchers my do on university property on contracts that do not run through the university.
  4. Export Control Education is important and researchers must take export control policies seriously.

II. Export Controls and Universities Information and Case Studies by the Council on government Relations, February 2004

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