A Urologist's 'Voicebox' Is The Center Of An Intellectual Property Debate27:25

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In Massachusetts, a recent case has emerged that centers on the work of Dr. Joseph Grocela, a urologist at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Dr. Grocela invents his own devices while he is off the clock, and created something he calls a "voicebox" in 2011.

However, the voicebox has been the subject of a heated intellectual property debate between Dr. Grocela and his employer, MGH and its corporate parent, Partners HealthCare System.

Dr. Grocela claims that because he invented the device in his own home and it was developed for one's larynx and not for urological purposes — which he asserts has nothing to do with what MGH pays him for -- he is the rightful owner of the voicebox device.

However, MGH and Partners HealthCare System disagree.

They claimed ownership over the invention because Dr. Grocela signed a intellectual property agreement with the hospital.

You can read the full court decision directly below:


  • Andrew Beckerman-Rodau, professor of law and co-director of the Intellectual Property Law Concentration at Suffolk Law School
  • Michael Meurer, professor of law at Boston University School of Law

This segment aired on August 7, 2012.