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# A new law gives ownership of patents—documents providing exclusive rig

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Re: A new law gives ownership of patentsdocuments providing exclusive rig [#permalink]
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hey GMATNinja! could you please add your two cents to the question. I am unable to understand the heart of this argument

The question asks us to cast doubt on the viability of a plan, so the heart of the argument will be that plan itself.

What is the plan? Administrators at Logos university plan to sell any patents they acquire to corporations, and then to use that money to fund improvements in undergraduate teaching.

We get some additional facts about the patents that will be sold: they "result from government-sponsored university research," and a new law is responsible for allowing the universities to own the patents.

With all of that in mind, use POE to cast doubt on the administrators' plan. Which answer choice hints that selling these patents isn't a great way to fund improvements in undergraduate teaching?
Quote:
(A) Profit-making corporations interested in developing products based on patents held by universities are likely to try to serve as exclusive sponsors of ongoing university research projects.

(A) misses the mark. The administrators' goal is to fund one thing in particular: "programs to improve undergraduate teaching." (A) implies that corporations serve another function: they sponsor ongoing university research products. These functions aren't necessarily at odds -- it's possible for administrators to sell patents to corporations, use that money to fund undergraduate teaching improvements, AND get sponsored for further research. Seems like a pretty good deal, and the administrators' plan makes sense!

Eliminate (A).

Quote:
(B) Corporate sponsors of research in university facilities are entitled to tax credits under new federal tax-code guidelines.

(B) tells us about an incentive for corporations to sponsor research at universities.

That's nice, but what does it have to do with the administrators' plan? It really doesn't have an impact at all. The plan is to sell patents from government-sponsored research to corporations. (B) talks about another kind of research altogether -- corporate-sponsored research. If (B) is true, it doesn't cast doubt on the plan to sell patents to corporations.

(B) is out.

Quote:
(C) Research scientists at Logos University have few or no teaching responsibilities and participate little if at all in the undergraduate programs in their field.

The plan calls for the funds from selling patents to go toward undergraduate teaching, but there's no need for the research scientists themselves to be involved with undergraduate students. The plan would work just as well if those exact researchers had nothing to do with undergraduate programs.

Eliminate (C).

Quote:
(D) Government-sponsored research conducted at Logos University for the most part duplicates research already completed by several profit-making corporations.

The plan is to sell patents resulting from government-sponsored research. But how many such patents will Logos University actually get? And how valuable would those patents really be?

(D) tells us that the university might not even get that many patents. After all, if several profit-making corporations have already done the same research, surely those companies would have patented any cool new inventions that came of that research. And if the patents are still up for grabs, then that must mean that other for-profit companies already decided the inventions weren't that valuable.

If Logos University can only expect a few crappy patents from the new law, then selling these patents won't provide many funds for undergraduate teaching.

(D) casts doubt on the viability of the plan, so keep (D).

Quote:
(E) Logos University is unlikely to attract corporate sponsorship of its scientific research

Again, the new law talks about government-sponsored research, not corporate-sponsored research. (E) doesn't tell us anything about whether the administrators' plan to sell patents from government-sponsored research will succeed.

(E) is out, and (D) is the correct answer.

I hope that helps!
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Re: A new law gives ownership of patentsdocuments providing exclusive rig [#permalink]
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noboru wrote:
A new law gives ownership of patents—documents providing exclusive right to make and sell an invention—to universities, not the government, when those patents result from government-sponsored university research. Administrators at Logos University plan to sell any patents they acquire to corporations in order to fund programs to improve undergraduate teaching.

Which of the following, if true, would cast most doubt on the viability of the college administrators’ plan described above?

(A) Profit-making corporations interested in developing products based on patents held by universities are likely to try to serve as exclusive sponsors of ongoing university research projects.

(B) Corporate sponsors of research in university facilities are entitled to tax credits under new federal tax-code guidelines.

(C) Research scientists at Logos University have few or no teaching responsibilities and participate little if at all in the undergraduate programs in their field.

(D) Government-sponsored research conducted at Logos University for the most part duplicates research already completed by several profit-making corporations.

(E) Logos University is unlikely to attract corporate sponsorship of its scientific research.

Universities need money to improve their programs. They don't have any. From where do they get this money?

The Govt sponsors research projects in the Univ. Till now, the Govt used to own the patents based on this research.
There is a NEW law - Univs get ownership of patents from government-sponsored university research now, not the Govt.

Plan to generate money: Sell these patents to corporations.
Aim: Improve their undergraduate programs with the money

What casts doubt on our plan?

(A) Profit-making corporations interested in developing products based on patents held by universities are likely to try to serve as exclusive sponsors of ongoing university research projects.

This tells us that corporations that would like to buy the patents are likely to exclusively sponsor university's research projects too. That's wonderful. The Univ will sell patents (and will be able to improve its programs) and the corporation is likely to try to sponsor research projects too. It provides money to the Univ and perhaps a sponsor for research too (which the Govt is doing till now). This doesn't cast doubt on our plan.

(B) Corporate sponsors of research in university facilities are entitled to tax credits under new federal tax-code guidelines.

Irrelevant to our plan. We don't care what benefits the corporates that sponsor research gets. It is out of scope for us since corporates that sponsor research are not even mentioned in our argument.

(C) Research scientists at Logos University have few or no teaching responsibilities and participate little if at all in the undergraduate programs in their field.

Research and teaching staff are separate. Irrelevant to our plan.

(D) Government-sponsored research conducted at Logos University for the most part duplicates research already completed by several profit-making corporations.

This means that the research being conducted at Logos is not original which means that it cannot be patented. So the Univ is unlikely to get any patents from the ongoing Government-sponsored research. Hence it won't be able to sell anything and won't get any money.
This casts doubt on our plan.

(E) Logos University is unlikely to attract corporate sponsorship of its scientific research.

We are talking about using the patents generated from GOVT. sponsored scientific research. Whether the univ attracts corporate sponsorship of its scientific research is irrelevant. We are NOT given that it will not attract any corporate buyers for its patents.
Hence (E) is irrelevant.

General Discussion
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Re: A new law gives ownership of patents—documents providing exclusive rig [#permalink]
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D it is.

Administrators at Logos university are planning to make profits by selling their patents to corporations.

Which option will hurt their plan?

Government-sponsored research conducted at Logos University duplicates research already completed by several profit-making corporations.

If the research is already completed by corporations than why would corporations buy the patents of same research from Logos university and this in effect tends to hurt the administrators plan.
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Re: A new law gives ownership of patents—documents providing exclusive rig [#permalink]
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Whenever I looked at this problem I thought along the lines of, what would make the university not able to allocate funds towards undergraduate programs by not selling their patents.

I eliminated answer D last because it said that a lot of the research they perform is just a duplicate of work performed and completed by for-profit corporations. If it is duplicate research then they would never be awarded a patent which means that this option is irrelevant to the question. All this option states is that most of their research won't result in a patent which is 100% irrelevant (in my mind) to the argument.

I selected A because if the corporations are only willing to allocate their money as a sponsorship and not as outright buying the patents for cash, then the school would not be able to allocate money to their undergraduate program. All you would have is the government and corporations sponsoring additional research but that would not translate in to more money for undergraduate studies.
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Re: A new law gives ownership of patents—documents providing exclusive rig [#permalink]
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Hi Shagalo,

C I'm afraid does not weaken the argument.

To see this clearly we need to put the argument linearly:

- Patents go to universities, when they're funded by gov't
- Logos will give the money from patents to undergrad teaching

It's that simple.

What does C say?

C says researchers don't teach undergrad.

Why does that weaken? The answer is that it doesn't, it talks about what researchers do , why should that affect their funding?

Hope that helps

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Re: A new law gives ownership of patents—documents providing exclusive rig [#permalink]
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NOBORU....

PLAN - Administrators at Logos University plan to sell any patents they acquire to corporations in order to fund programs to improve undergraduate teaching.

(A) Profit-making corporations interested in developing products based on patents held by universities are likely to try to serve as exclusive sponsors of ongoing university research projects.....SO EVEN IF Profit-making corporations SPONSOR THE RESEARCH PROJECTS .....they are not funding programs to improve undergraduate teaching. WHY SHOULD WE ASSUME THAT THEY PATENTS ARE BEING GIVEN FREE TO THEM and therefore funding programs to improve undergraduate teaching will not occur................INCORRECT

(D) Government-sponsored research conducted at Logos University for the most part duplicates research already completed by several profit-making corporations....THE PLAN WILL FAIL AS CORPORATIONS WILL NOT BUY THE PATENT THEY ALREADY HOLD...............CORRECT.
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Re: A new law gives ownership of patents—documents providing exclusive rig [#permalink]
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I have the same doubt as dav373 expressed

I chose chose choice A. I fail to understand how D can be the answer. Here is my reasoning

The conclusion is that college admins plan to sell govt. sponsored patents to corporations to fund under-grad programs. We need to weaken this plan.

Choice D says that government sponsored research mostly duplicates research of corps. Now if the college has the patent, even if corps have duplicate research, corps still cant use the research until they buy the patent. Hence IMO, this choice should not be a weakener

Choice A states that corps may end up being exclusive sponsor of the research project whose patent they want to use. In this case the college would get money for research project from corps instead of govt. But they would not be able to find additional income source for their undergrad programs. Hence this choice weakens the plan.

Can somebody explain why choice D is a better weakener than A
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Re: A new law gives ownership of patents—documents providing exclusive rig [#permalink]
Hey Chiranjeev,

Thanks for explaining this at length, however I'm still not clear

I realize after you pointed out, that my query w.r.t. to point D is not same as dav373. Sorry for adding the confusion.

When I read the question, I consider it a given that universities own the patent. The argument clearly states it. Now even if corporations have completed similar research (before or after universities doesn't matter), they wont be able to use their own research, since the universities own the patent for the research. Corporations will have to buy patents from universities before they can use the technology/research.

Option D
(D) Government-sponsored research conducted at Logos University for the most part duplicates research already completed by several profit-making corporations.

If govt sponsored research duplicates research completed by several profit-making corporations, there are only 2 possibilities ->1) corps file the patent first and get it 2) universities file the patent first and they own it. Since, we are not talking about corps filed patents, we can ignore those. For the patents that universities own, even if corps have done duplicate research, they will have to buy the patent from universities.

Now option A

(A) Profit-making corporations interested in developing products based on patents held by universities are likely to try to serve as exclusive sponsors of ongoing university research projects.

With option A, they cut out one of their source. It's definitely a loss and a weakener
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Re: A new law gives ownership of patents—documents providing exclusive rig [#permalink]
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dipsy001 wrote:
Hey Chiranjeev,

Thanks for explaining this at length, however I'm still not clear

I realize after you pointed out, that my query w.r.t. to point D is not same as dav373. Sorry for adding the confusion.

When I read the question, I consider it a given that universities own the patent. The argument clearly states it.

Hi Dipsy001,

Where does the argument say that (clearly)? Also, option D is specifically about Logos university. So, do you mean that the argument clearly states that Logos university has patents? I think the argument first talks about universities in general and then specifically about the plan of Logos university.

dipsy001 wrote:
Now even if corporations have completed similar research (before or after universities doesn't matter), they wont be able to use their own research, since the universities own the patent for the research. Corporations will have to buy patents from universities before they can use the technology/research.

Option D
(D) Government-sponsored research conducted at Logos University for the most part duplicates research already completed by several profit-making corporations.

If govt sponsored research duplicates research completed by several profit-making corporations, there are only 2 possibilities ->1) corps file the patent first and get it 2) universities file the patent first and they own it. Since, we are not talking about corps filed patents, we can ignore those. For the patents that universities own, even if corps have done duplicate research, they will have to buy the patent from universities.

This part is relevant only if we know that Logos university has patents. So, I am waiting for your revert on my above question.

dipsy001 wrote:
Now option A

(A) Profit-making corporations interested in developing products based on patents held by universities are likely to try to serve as exclusive sponsors of ongoing university research projects.

The statement as it stands says that companies would want to be exclusive sponsors of research projects. If we say that universities may make it a condition for anyone becoming an exclusive sponsor to also fund undergraduate teaching. Wouldn't that be an additional assumption, which the choice doesn't state?

Yes, that would be an additional assumption, which you don't need to make. I just gave it as an example. My main reason for rejection was something else: doing one thing does not exclude you from doing the other thing. Would you like to read my explanation again for option A?

dipsy001 wrote:
On the other hand, an assumption such as 'corps would want to be exclusive sponsors of research projects only if they can use the research later without buying the patents' seems more likely. Corps wont want to fund the projects for free.

Now, this assumption is more likely than the previous one. I agree. But it does not mean that we can make this assumption. What if exclusive sponsorship just gives the corporation a right of first refusal to the patent? In such a case, they will in any case need to buy the patent but they will have the first right to buy it. Also, even if the exclusive sponsor does not need to buy this patent, there might be other corporations who will be interested in buying this patent.

dipsy001 wrote:
This leaves the universities without a sponsor for their undergraduate teaching programs.

Cannot say this based on above explanation.

Thanks,
Chiranjeev
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Re: A new law gives ownership of patents—documents providing exclusive rig [#permalink]
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The question asks us to weaken the conclusion .

The conclusion is "Administrators at Logos University plan to sell any patents they acquire to corporations in order to fund programs to improve undergraduate teaching."

Here the assumption is that "By Selling patents, University will make money to fund undergraduate teaching" .

We need an arguments that weakens this.

"But what if the patents or Research is duplicate/carbon copy of already completed Projects??"
Thus choice D weakens the argument.
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Re: A new law gives ownership of patents—documents providing exclusive rig [#permalink]
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noboru wrote:
A new law gives ownership of patents—documents providing exclusive right to make and sell an invention—to universities, not the government, when those patents result from government-sponsored university research. Administrators at Logos University plan to sell any patents they acquire to corporations in order to fund programs to improve undergraduate teaching.

Situation: From now on, government-sponsored university research will be owned by the university instead of the government. Logos University is planning to sell any patents they may acquire from gov-sponsored research in order to improve their undergrad teaching.

Pre thinking:
1. Will corporations want to buy their patents/research?
2. Would holding onto these patents improve their undergrad program more than additional funds?

Weaken
noboru wrote:
(A) Profit-making corporations interested in developing products based on patents held by universities are likely to try to serve as exclusive sponsors of ongoing university research projects.

Okay, interesting. But does this necessarily mean that corporations would not buy patents held by uni's?

Our situation is regarding gov-sponsored patents held by uni's. If corporations want to sponsor uni's to make patents, that doesn't directly weaken our plan.

noboru wrote:
(B) Corporate sponsors of research in university facilities are entitled to tax credits under new federal tax-code guidelines.

Irrelevant. We're not concerned with corporate sponsors. Nor are we concerned with taxes.

noboru wrote:
(C) Research scientists at Logos University have few or no teaching responsibilities and participate little if at all in the undergraduate programs in their field.

Irrelevant. This has nothing to do with the plan to sell gov-sponsored patents.

noboru wrote:
(D) Government-sponsored research conducted at Logos University for the most part duplicates research already completed by several profit-making corporations.
So "for the most part," gov-sponsored research that Logos Uni has performed, has already been completed by corporations.

Therefore, these corporations (hopeful buyers) already have the research that Logos would want to sell them.

This casts serious doubt on the plan. Will Logos be able to sell their patents/research to corporations if most of them already own similar research? Unlikely.

Hold

noboru wrote:
(E) Logos University is unlikely to attract corporate sponsorship of its scientific research.

Irrelevant. Logos is not attempting to get corporate sponsorship. Logos is trying to sell gov-sponsored research to corporations.
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Re: A new law gives ownership of patents—documents providing exclusive rig [#permalink]
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noboru wrote:
A new law gives ownership of patents—documents providing exclusive right to make and sell an invention—to universities, not the government, when those patents result from government-sponsored university research. Administrators at Logos University plan to sell any patents they acquire to corporations in order to fund programs to improve undergraduate teaching.

Which of the following, if true, would cast most doubt on the viability of the college administrators’ plan described above?

(A) Profit-making corporations interested in developing products based on patents held by universities are likely to try to serve as exclusive sponsors of ongoing university research projects.

(B) Corporate sponsors of research in university facilities are entitled to tax credits under new federal tax-code guidelines.

(C) Research scientists at Logos University have few or no teaching responsibilities and participate little if at all in the undergraduate programs in their field.

(D) Government-sponsored research conducted at Logos University for the most part duplicates research already completed by several profit-making corporations.

(E) Logos University is unlikely to attract corporate sponsorship of its scientific research.

A student asked me to explain why D is correct and E is incorrect.
So here we go.....

Argument summary:
- Even though a government may sponsor a university to do research, the government does not own the patents resulting from that research.
- The university owns the patents.
- Logos University plans to make money by selling its patents to corporations.

Question: Which answer choice will weaken the University's plans to make money by selling its patents to corporations?

(D) Government-sponsored research conducted at Logos University for the most part duplicates research already completed by several profit-making corporations.
Aha! This tells us that the government-sponsored research isn't unique, groundbreaking research that corporations will be interested in. Instead, the government-sponsored research is simply duplicating research the corporations have already performed. So, any patents that may arise from government-sponsored research won't be any interest to corporations, since they've already conducted the same research.
This definitely weekends the University's plans to sell its patents to corporations.

(E) Logos University is unlikely to attract corporate sponsorship of its scientific research.
This has no effect on the conclusion.
Logos University is already pretty happy with its arrangement with the government. The government pays for the research, and any resulting patents belong to the university. In other words, Logos University has no interest in attracting corporate sponsorship.
As such, answer choice E has no effect on the conclusion.
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Re: A new law gives ownership of patents—documents providing exclusive rig [#permalink]
Bunuel wrote:
shalu wrote:
A new law gives ownership of patents—documents providing exclusive right to make and sell an invention—to universities, not the government, when those patents result from government-sponsored university research. Administrators at Logos University plan to sell any patents they acquire to corporations in order to fund programs to improve undergraduate teaching.

Which of the following, if true, would cast most doubt on the viability of the college administrators’ plan described above?

(A) Profit-making corporations interested in developing products based on patents held by universities are likely to try to serve as exclusive sponsors of ongoing university research projects.

(B) Corporate sponsors of research in university facilities are entitled to tax credits under new federal tax-code guidelines.

(C) Research scientists at Logos University have few or no teaching responsibilities and participate little if at all in the undergraduate programs in their field.

D) Government-sponsored research conducted at Logos University for the most part duplicates research already completed by several profit-making corporations.

(E) Logos University is unlikely to attract corporate sponsorship of its scientific research.

OFFICIAL EXPLANATION:

Evaluation of a Plan

Situation Universities own the patents resulting from government-sponsored research at their institutions. One university plans to sell its patents to corporations to fund a program to improve teaching.

Reasoning Which point casts doubt on the university's plan? The university's plan assumes there will be a market for its patents, and that the corporations will want to buy them. What might make this untrue? If some of the corporations have already done the same or similar research, they will not be prospective buyers of the university's patents.

(A) Profit-making corporations interested in developing products based on patents held by universities are likely to try to serve as exclusive sponsors of ongoing university research projects.
This point is irrelevant to the plan to sell patents in order to fund a program.

(B) Corporate sponsors of research in university facilities are entitled to tax credits under new federal tax-code guidelines.
The university plans to sell the patents to the corporations, not to invite the corporations to sponsor research.

(C) Research scientists at Logos University have few or no teaching responsibilities and participate little if at all in the undergraduate programs in their field.
This point is irrelevant to the university's plan to sell off patents since the plan does not specify that the research scientists will be involved in the programs to improve undergraduate teaching.

(D) Government-sponsored research conducted at Logos University for the most part duplicates research already completed by several profit-making corporations.
Correct. This statement properly identifies a factor that casts doubt on the university's plan to sell its patents to corporations.

(E) Logos University is unlikely to attract corporate sponsorship of its scientific research.
The plan concerns selling patents resulting from government-sponsored research, not attracting corporate sponsorship for research.

I rejected Option D due to phrase " Most part duplicates". I infered even if university could manage to sell few patented products ( those were not duplicate) . It could generate fund to improve . This fund may be adequate or may not.
Kindly advise where I made mistake in reasoning
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Re: A new law gives ownership of patents—documents providing exclusive rig [#permalink]
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vickytvn wrote:
I rejected Option D due to phrase " Most part duplicates". I infered even if university could manage to sell few patented products ( those were not duplicate) . It could generate fund to improve . This fund may be adequate or may not.
Kindly advise where I made mistake in reasoning

Hi vickytvn,

In the verbal section we're very unlikely to get perfect options. Instead, what we look for is the best available option. You should feel comfortable marking an option like D if there is no other option that casts as much doubt on the viability of the college administrators’ plan as D does.
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Re: A new law gives ownership of patentsdocuments providing exclusive rig [#permalink]
hey GMATNinja! could you please add your two cents to the question. I am unable to understand the heart of this argument
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Re: A new law gives ownership of patentsdocuments providing exclusive rig [#permalink]
I understand why option A is incorrect, But option D talks about patents resulting from government sponsored research. Last sentence of the passage says that the university plans to sell "any" patents they acquire (this can be government sponsored or not). We are not sure if government is the only entity sponsoring the university research.

Option D says - Government-sponsored research duplicates research already completed by several profit-making corporations. Now, there are other patents too which the university has and those patents could be sold to corporates.

Are we choosing the best answer here? Because option D has flaws.
Can somebody guide on this.
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Re: A new law gives ownership of patentsdocuments providing exclusive rig [#permalink]
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Sahiba1 wrote:
I understand why option A is incorrect, But option D talks about patents resulting from government sponsored research. Last sentence of the passage says that the university plans to sell "any" patents they acquire (this can be government sponsored or not). We are not sure if government is the only entity sponsoring the university research.

Option D says - Government-sponsored research duplicates research already completed by several profit-making corporations. Now, there are other patents too which the university has and those patents could be sold to corporates.

Are we choosing the best answer here? Because option D has flaws.
Can somebody guide on this.

Hi Sahiba1,

This is the information we have about ownership (of patents):
noboru wrote:
A new law gives ownership of patents—documents providing exclusive right to make and sell an invention—to universities, not the government, when those patents result from government-sponsored university research.

Option D gives us some reason to think that there won't be a market for at least some of the patents acquired by Logos. In the absence of a better option, D is the correct answer.
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