US patent law
Haha ... i'm spartacus!!
Also this does sound similar to so many patents which are held on an idea rather actually getting something out there.
From the sounds of it Harvard is just over flowing with wannabe big players and no doubt they have lots of ideas during their time there but the first lesson they should learn is about doing it, getting it to market and then sitting pretty rather than the lazy approach the US patent system allows - (patent a very very vague idea and wait for someone cleverer than you to make something that fits it then sue them).
Welcome to the real world you cry babies. If you're that clever come up with a new idea, sue or shut up, hiding in a book is cowardly and only makes you look like a moaning mindy!