Ah ok, well my initial thoughts are that this seems a bit underhand if the research is publicly funded. Mind you I expect there's a fair bit of research which is both privately and publicly funded, so what would they do then?
Private companies can of course get government grants for lots of things, we don't expect them to share patents with the tax payer, we just assume it will have a positive net effect on society.
Some of the departments at the university I went to had ties to industry which was undoubtedly beneficial to the students and researchers, although whether it was accountable exactly whose money was being spent where I don't know.
The more I think about it, the less I think it's clear cut. We give away lots of money as tax payers, but don't automatically expect an accountable financial return. Society isn't a bank after all.
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