Between 1998 and 2008, the number of collective bargaining agreements at colleges and universities that covered ownership of intellectual property—patents and copyrights—increased dramatically. In Managed Professionals: Unionized Faculty and Restructuring Academic Labor, Gary Rhoades (1998) wrote that only about 33% of the collective bargaining agreements in the Higher Education Contract Analysis System (HECAS) maintained by the National Education Association had provisions that covered ownership of intellectual property (71 out of 212 contracts). In the 2008 HECAS, 55% (290 out of 525) of contracts covering faculty at two-year and four-year institutions had provisions covering intellectual-property ownership.

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