As Bwog reported, Columbia Alum Judd Gregg is Obama’s pick for Commerce Secretary. The New Hampshire Senator has kept a relationship with Columbia, a connection that may have motivated some ethically-questionable legislative maneuvering.
In 2000, Gregg attached an amendment to an agriculture bill extending a patent for a biomedical process owned by Columbia. The patent was originally issued in 1983 and was bringing in around $100 million in annual revenue for the University.
After a slew of pharmaceutical industry lawsuits, Columbia eventually relinquished its claims to royalties. However, if confirmed, Gregg will control the patent office, so maybe he can throw Columbia an extra $100 million per year.