UO settles tortuous, incomprehensible COI/C case over Ed School profs DIBELS

The docket is here. It started August 2014, with this:

DYNAMIC MEASUREMENT GROUP, INC., an Oregon corporation, PLAINTIFF, v. UNIVERSITY OF OREGON, a special governmental body as defined by ORS 174.117(1)(i); MIA TUAN, individually and in her official capacity; EDWARD J. KAME’ENUI, individually and in his official capacity; FRANCIS J. FIEN IV, a/k/a Hank Fein, individually and in his official capacity; BRAD SHELTON, individually and in his official capacity; and HOP SKIP TECHNOLOGIES INC., an Oregon corporation, DEFENDANTS.

Plaintiff Dynamic Measurement Group, Inc. by this action seeks injunctive relief to prevent continuing trademark infringement and unfair competition by the University of Oregon, and by a private corporation acting in concert with the University of Oregon, in connection with DMG’s registered marks DIBELS, DIBELS Next, and IDEL. It also seeks injunctive relief and statutory damages with respect to copyright infringement and misuse of copyright management information by those same parties in connection with an “app” containing the DIBELS Oral Reading Fluency assessment measures.

Actually it started before that, as Diane Dietz explained in the RG in 2014, here:

In a legal set-to, the University of Oregon, a UO associate professor and a former employee are fighting over who owns — and can profit from — a reading test used at 15,000 schools with 4 million students nationwide.

All sides agree that the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills — or DIBELS — had its origins at the university and has been used and tinkered on by many UO professors, graduate students and researchers.

The question is: Who does DIBELS (rhymes with dribbles) belong to now?

Associate Professor Roland Good and former graduate student and one-time UO employee Ruth Kaminski formed a company and took out a trademark and copyright on DIBELS in 2003.

One decade later, the UO asked the U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board to cancel Good and Kaminski’s trademark.

“The university will defend its intellectual property rights, which are public property, to the fullest extent of the law,” UO spokeswoman Julie Brown said in a prepared statement.

At one point another group of Ed school professors sued the first group. Or maybe the university. Or maybe vice versa. Eventually the cases were combined. Or maybe dismissed. Lawyers came, lawyers left. Subpoenas were issued. Motions to suppress things were made. It all ended two days ago, after 4 years and 221 docket entries, with this:

221 Aug 8, 2018

60-DAY ORDER OF DISMISSAL: The Court having been informed by counsel for the parties that this action has been settled, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to LR 41-1, this action is dismissed with prejudice and without costs and with leave, upon good cause shown within sixty (60) days, to have this order of dismissal set aside and the action reinstated if the settlement is not consummated. Pending motions, if any, are denied as moot. All pretrial deadlines and any trial date are stricken. By Clerk of Court Mary L. Moran. (mja) (Entered: 08/08/2018)

If anyone can provide a cogent summary of this mess please post it. The UO administration is now working with the Senate to rewrite UO’s relevant COI/COC policies, after first claiming that they were “not an academic matter”.

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One Response to UO settles tortuous, incomprehensible COI/C case over Ed School profs DIBELS

  1. Andy Stahl says:

    It appears the UO does not know how to execute employment contracts; e.g., they need to be signed. Nor does it understand intellectual property law.

    The terms of the settlement are not included in the docket, but may be available under Oregon’s Public Records Act. In any event, the UO was losing this case at every turn. The best summary is Judge Coffin’s summary judgment decision:

    https://www.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.ord.118198.108.0.pdf

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