Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Scientist sues UH
over radar system

He says intellectual rights
were violated when his project
was put on the shelf

A scientist whose radar research project brought a $7.4 million contract to the Research Corporation of the University of Hawaii has sued the agency for blocking him from developing and marketing the product of the research.

James Stamm said his 2003 contract with the UH Research Corp. provided that he "would own all intellectual property associated with or developed under the radar projects." The suit filed yesterday claims the UH agency is in breach of contract, and asks the state court to award Stamm lost profits to be determined at trial.

Stamm approached the UH agency to seek the contract with the Naval Air Systems Command, which sought proposals to upgrade and modernize the radar systems for its Hawkeye E-2C early-warning aircraft. A former employee of Naval Air Systems Command, Stamm has engineering and scientific experience in radar transmission research and development, and is the founder of North Star Scientific Corp.

The UH agency informed the Navy in 2003 that it wanted to "incubate this project for a year," then would back its being assigned to a private corporation to facilitate production, according to the suit.

The two-year contract for the HawkEye Alternate Transmitter Project was signed in September 2003 when Harold Masumoto was RCUH executive director. Stamm was put on the UH Research Corp. payroll as senior staff scientist and recruited his project team.

The suit said the agency has failed to implement the spinoff to North Star, and the current executive director, Michael Hamnett, informed Stamm in March that the agreement to do so is "no longer valid."

North Star attorney Daniel Plaskett said Stamm and his team are continuing with the Hawkeye project. North Star, which has 25 employees working on other government contracts, shares a Campbell Industrial Park building with the university project.

Said Plaskett, "It could have been the first great success story in the private/public partnership relationship between RCUH and the high-tech industry."

Hamnett and the UH Research Corp. did not respond to a request for comment.

Research Corporation of the University of Hawaii

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