Weinstein v. University of Illinois

811 F.2d 1091 (1987)

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Weinstein v. University of Illinois

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
811 F.2d 1091 (1987)

Facts

Marvin Weinstein (plaintiff) worked at the University of Illinois (Illinois) (defendant) in the College of Pharmacy (the college). At Weinstein’s request, the college funded a clerkship program for practicing pharmacists. Weinstein collaborated with one other assistant professor, David Belsheim (defendant), and Richard Hutchinson (defendant), the director of pharmacy practice at the University of Illinois Hospital, where the program was carried out. The three all agreed to write jointly and publish the results from the program. According to Weinstein, it was agreed that he would be the lead author of a paper describing the clerkship and the data that was obtained from questionnaires. Weinstein had several disagreements with Belsheim during the writing process, disapproving of Belsheim’s revisions to his writing. After the dean of the college expressed frustration with the authors’ progress, Belsheim finished the paper and submitted it to the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education. The article was published with the authors listed as D. J. Belsheim, R. A. Hutchinson, and M. M. Weinstein. Weinstein took exception to this and claimed that his work was stolen and altered. After being denied tenure, Weinstein filed suit, alleging that he had a property right in his work and was deprived of it in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. At the time, Illinois had a policy whereby professors retained the copyright for their own work unless the work fell under one of three categories, one of which included work that was prepared at the university’s expense with the university a motivating factor in the preparation of the work. A district court dismissed the claim, concluding that the work was owned by Illinois, not Weinstein. Weinstein appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Easterbrook, J.)

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