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Small businesses claim Feds stealing their ideas

usa government foodquesttq fda intellectual property demodulation microwire radar

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#1 Hum

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 11:42

"They stole all my stuff and used taxpayer money to do it,"  John Hnatio, a Maryland small business owner, says of the U.S. government.

Hnatio claims the government has put his company, FoodquestTQ, nearly out of business by stealing his firm's software that was designed to be licensed to the Food and Drug Administration to monitor food safety.

The FDA "took our ideas, plagiarized my doctoral dissertation on which a patent was based, and then they infringed on our patent. The result was that it decimated our business," he adds.

Hnatio says his company has been left hanging by a thread. He has had to fire employees and says that the remaining three, including himself, are receiving no salary and have been forced to go on unemployment insurance.

"I have never seen anything like it," says Hnatio, who is a retired federal government official.

He says the FDA "duplicated exactly what we were selling to industry and they were giving it away for free...instead of helping small business commercialize their product, what we are seeing is a dragon, in the name of the U.S. government that is eating their own young."

FoodquestTQ is only one of numerous small businesses that accuse the government of stealing their intellectual property or trade secrets when they enter into contracts or research agreements with federal agencies.

"The government interceded, stole the technology and attempted to use this in classified programs," says Jim O'Keefe, the president of the small New Jersey technology company Demodulation. He has filed a $50 million lawsuit against the U.S. government, accusing it of taking his firm's research.

Demodulation developed an advanced technology involving fiber coated wire, called microwire, which is thinner than a human hair. The company says its microwire can be used for a variety of national security applications, such as tracking drones, keeping tabs on soldiers on battlefields, transmitting information without a power source, and that it even has the ability "to render objects invisible to radar."

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#2 Anibal P

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 11:56

Sounds about right, this current batch of Liberals are anything but openly hostile to business and success, need more sheep on welfare instead, can't be having people not need the useless government 



#3 +zhiVago

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 12:07

a retired federal government official

 

So, the guy worked for the Feds, saw an opportunity in how things can be improved there, and then he left the office to start his own business instead of promoting his idea internally thereby trying to milk his former employee, the government.

 

This article lacks objectivity and details. It's possible that he couldn't legally develop any of this stuff on his own because of the sensitivity of the data or some non-disclosure agreements.



#4 OP Hum

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 12:15

^ Just because he once worked for the government, does not mean he developed his ideas while he worked there.

 

Let the lawsuit sort it out.

 

And you should read the full article.
 

 

... one of numerous small businesses that accuse the government of stealing their intellectual property ...

 

It turns out that the government is routinely accused of similar wrongdoing and sometimes has to pony up.



#5 Depicus

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 12:19

So, the guy worked for the Feds, saw an opportunity in how things can be improved there, and then he left the office to start his own business instead of promoting his idea internally thereby trying to milk his former employee, the government.

 

This article lacks objectivity and details. It's possible that he couldn't legally develop any of this stuff on his own because of the sensitivity of the data or some non-disclosure agreements.

 

Or he could have stayed where he was and never had the opportunity to expand his ideas and the world would be a worse place of it..... works both ways.



#6 Growled

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 17:49

I'm not surprised. Our government has become quite anti-small-business the last few years.