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Canada The Almighty Buck Science

Cricket Reactor Inventor Says $1mil Prize Winners Stole His Work 131

An anonymous reader writes "A group of Montreal MBA students took home this year's million-dollar Hult Prize, winning a competition for socially innovative business ideas that calls itself 'one of the planet's leading forces for good.' But now the ethics of the winners and the prize committee are being called into question. McGill PhD researcher Jakub Dzamba says that after he supplied the idea and design behind their pitch, products of years of development work, the team reneged on its promises to make him a partner and is instead taking credit for his work. Apparently, Hult knew about the issue before it awarded the prize." Yes, these are the students whose win garnered $1 million awarded by Bill Clinton.
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Cricket Reactor Inventor Says $1mil Prize Winners Stole His Work

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  • Lesson in Business (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MrDoh! ( 71235 ) on Saturday September 28, 2013 @04:34AM (#44977935) Homepage Journal
    The 'winners' are about to learn some valuable lesson in winning a million dollars.

    They're going to end up owing some lawyers 1.2million.

  • by ScooterComputer ( 10306 ) on Saturday September 28, 2013 @07:03AM (#44978201)

    I would posit that this case does NOT reflect a "philosophy of selfishness", but instead a "philosophy of greed". Often the two, selfishness and greed, are conflated. I often read treatises dedicated to trashing Ayn Rand for her promotion of "selfishness", with the writers either cluelessly or maliciously misrepresenting her position. The "philosophy of selfishness" does not entail stealing others' ideas, failing to credit and compensate them; in fact, that is theft, a hallmark of greed, and the very kind of behavior that Rand attributed to the "takers". Selfishness is good, it is what is driving Mr. Dzamba to vociferously defend his work. It is even what is partially driving the Hult team. However, and given McGill's Office of Sponsored Research findings, the Hult team has veered into Greed as it has seemingly decided to take from Mr. Dzamba what it did NOT work to produce. Just as with Reardon metal, this design does not belong to them.
    What I find surprising [although with Mr. Clinton's name attached perhaps not so] is that the Hult International Business School would award such a large price ($1M USD) to a project where the central design itself is so seemingly encumbered. One would think that a basic tenet of their Prize would either be outright originalism or profound derivation. Nothing less should be worth $1,000,000.

  • by thaylin ( 555395 ) on Saturday September 28, 2013 @07:23AM (#44978231)
    First of all selfishness, especially in the way Rand describe it, is not good. It is a means to escape repercussions for the persons action.

    Second this person was not selfish in any way, he shared his ideas with this team, he did not have to do this.. The greed AND selfishness came from the team.

  • by moosehooey ( 953907 ) on Saturday September 28, 2013 @10:27AM (#44978915)

    Having the ability to execute the idea isn't required to get a patent. By leaving off one of the inventors, they committed perjury.

"An organization dries up if you don't challenge it with growth." -- Mark Shepherd, former President and CEO of Texas Instruments