Foxconn, UW-Madison agreements include confidentiality, ‘cost sharing’

MADISON – The legality of confidentiality clauses between Foxconn and UW-Madison is in question after the (Madison) Wisconsin State Journal obtained documents detailing their partnership agreement through the state’s open-records law.

Information regarding sales, research plans, patent applications and more will be confidential, according to the clauses. Bill Lueders, president of the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council, said research findings are not exempt from Wisconsin’s open meetings and records laws.

“These provisions should never have been agreed to, and steps should be taken to remove them,” Lueders told the Associated Press.

Some researchers working as part of a partnership between Foxconn and UW-Madison also could be paid by the university. The agreements indicate the two parties agreed to “discuss cost sharing to bring on new faculty members” at a new facility near Racine.

UW-Madison and Foxconn will share intellectual property rights as well, according to the documents, which one group says could endanger academic freedom.

» Read more from the State Journal

» Read the AP report on confidentiality