LSAT and Law School Admissions Forum

Get expert LSAT preparation and law school admissions advice from PowerScore Test Preparation.

PowerScore Staff
  • PowerScore Staff
  • Posts: 8869
  • Joined: Feb 02, 2011
Complete Question Explanation
(See the complete passage discussion here: lsat/viewtopic.php?t=14639)

The correct answer choice is (E)

The four incorrect answer choices for this question will all be supported by information from the
passage; the correct answer choice will either be unmentioned by the author or will contradict
information given.

Answer choice (A): This answer choice can be confirmed by the first two paragraphs. The passage
identifies supramaximalist institutions as having the broadest ownership claims on faculty inventions.
The broader these claims are, the less flexibility faculty has in pursuing commercialized interests and the
more tempted they will be to pursue jobs in institutions which are more responsive to their needs.

Answer choice (B): To confirm this answer choice, readers should immediately return to the fourth
paragraph. Beginning in line 60, the passage states “faculty-oriented institutions assume that researchers
own their own intellectual products…except in the development of public health inventions or if there
is previously specified ‘substantial university involvement’” (lines 60-65). Thus, faculty-oriented
institutions will not claim any product which does not satisfy at least one of these requirements.

Answer choice (C): The second paragraph states that maximalist institutions claim ownership of
inventions that “arise either ‘in the course of the faculty’s employment [or] from the faculty’s use of
university resources’” (lines 35-37). All other inventions belong to the faculty. However, the passage
further notes that “this [maximalist] approach…can affect virtually all of a faculty member’s intellectual
production” (lines 37-40). If this is true, then most faculty inventions at maximalist institutions must be
produced inside the institution or using the institution’s resources.

Answer choice (D): After confirming answer choice (C), it is quite easy to show that there is little
practical difference between maximalist and supramaximalist policies. Supramaximalist policies assert
ownership “of all intellectual property produced by faculty” (line 29) and “for any inventions or patent
rights from faculty activities” (lines 31-32). Maximalist policy “can affect virtually all of a faculty
member’s intellectual production” (line 40). In practice, then, both policies have nearly the same effect
on intellectual property ownership.

Answer choice (E): This is the correct answer choice. Rather than using any objective standard for
determining property ownership, resource-provider institutions rely strictly on the subjective definition
of “significant use” of university resources to assert claims on faculty discoveries. Since “what
constitutes significant use of resources is a matter of institutional judgment” (lines 44-45), the passage
does not suggest that this standard will be constant in all cases.
  • Posts: 26
  • Joined: Sep 14, 2016
Hi guys,

Several observations to this question and its answer choices.

1) I am not english native and I don't get what is the semantics of option 'A', in other words what is it exact meaning. What is the meaning of "of losing faculty to jobs"? Besides this, I don´t see where exactly is this suggested in the passage

2) Option B mentions a "faculty-oriented institution". This is never mentioned in the passage. Or at least I don't see it.

3) Option C, really? I would have never inferred this.

4) Option D mentions "little practical difference". But lines 37 to 39 states "This approach, although not as all-encompassing". I interpret it as if it were a huge difference between supramaximalist and maximalist.

5) I have any doubt for this option. I know it is not suggested in the passage. But the other choices were not at all clearly suggested by the passage.

My mind was burning out while doing this passage. It was almost midnight. So be nice at me lol. Thank you guys,
 Kristina Moen
PowerScore Staff
  • PowerScore Staff
  • Posts: 230
  • Joined: Nov 17, 2016
Hi gintriag,

First, take a look at the thread about Question #22 from the same passage. In that thread, LSAT Instructor Steve Stein discusses the structure of the passage. Structure is one of the elements of VIEWSTAMP, and it is one of the most helpful elements to diagram and notate. You should always be referring back to the passage. This is an open book test! Particularly with Must Be True and Must Be True - Except questions, you will be looking back to the passage to see if the answer choices matches with what you read. And on a Must Be True - Except, I always look to see if the answer choice matches what I read (and if it does, I eliminate it). Otherwise, you drive yourself crazy trying to see if the answer choice is NOT in the passage. It's hard to look for something that's not there! If you've notated structure correctly, you'll be able to quickly scan the section where the answer choice is likely to be found.

So let's take a look at these answer choices. It is helpful if you have identified the four classifications of institutional policies in the 2nd and 4th paragraphs.

Answer Choice (A): Supramaximalist institutions were first mentioned in L27. They stake the broadest claim possible. The first paragraph is where losing faculty other institutions is mentioned (L10-20). Since Supramaximalist institutions stake the broadest claim and have the least flexibility, Answer Choice (A) can be inferred from the passage. We can eliminate this answer choice

Answer Choice (B): Faculty-oriented institutions are the "fourth way" discussed in the last paragraph (L60). We're told that "Faculty-oriented institutions assume that researchers own their own intellectual products and the rights to exploit them commercially, except in the development of public health inventions or if there is previously specified." We can eliminate this answer choice.

Answer Choice (C): Maximalist institutions are mentioned in the third paragraph at L33. We are the told that faculty don't own inventions that arise in the course of their employment or from university resource, and this can affect virtually all of their intellectual production. Thus, we can infer this answer choice and eliminate it.

Answer Choice (D): Refer back to L37. "This approach [maximalist], although not as all-encompassing as that of the supramaximalist university, can affect virtually all of a faculty member’s intellectual production." Thus, we can infer that there is little practical difference, and this answer choice can be eliminated. The word "although" can mean that we can disregard it. It is in aside. Consider the sentence: "Although John was older than Steven, they were in the same grade." This is emphasizing the similarities between John and Steven.

Answer Choice (E): Resource-provided institutions were first mentioned at L40. It is in direct contradiction with the line 44: "Of course, what constitutes significant use of resources is a matter of institutional judgment." Thus, this Answer Choice cannot be inferred from the passage, and it is the correct answer choice. I wish it had come earlier, and then you could have moved on. This question took time, for sure!
  • Posts: 26
  • Joined: Sep 14, 2016
Such a great explanation. You know, the word "faculty" was the main problem to understand the whole passage. Faculty also means "members of a faculty", not just the faculty as a department itself. If I had understood that while reading, I wouldn't have bothered you. It is surprising how a word changed my whole understanding and ruled me out.

Thank you very much!
  • Posts: 35
  • Joined: Feb 21, 2017
I incorrectly chose A for this question. My reasoning for choosing A rests on an inference I made which, due to the fact the answer is wrong, must not be a valid inference in the text. However, I'd like to outline my reasoning in the hope that you might be able to shed some insight as to how I can avoid making a similar faulty inference in the future. I apologize as this may be a bit lengthy.

Since this is a MBT Except question, all of the wrong answers must be alluded to in the passage.

Answer choice A states that supermaximalist institutions run the greatest risk of losing their faculty to other institutions that favor the faculty's interests more. I bolded "greatest risk" because this is the key bit of the answer choice that I ultimatly concluded the passage did not suggest.

I realized from the outset that this answer choice refers back to lines 16-19 which state that the less flexibility an institution provides to faculty to monetize research, the more likely those faculty will leave for less strict institutions.

However, I believed (incorrectly) that this answer choice was a bit of an LSAT trap, worded closely to mirror a part of the passage, but contradicting another part. In lines 37-40, the passage speaks about maximalist institutions, and it states that though this approach is not as all encompassing as supermaximalist institutions, it "can affect virtually all of a faculty member's intellectual protection."

I interpreted these key lines to mean: Although on its face a maximalist institution seems to be less stringent than a supermaximalist institution, it's policies have the effect of encompassing virtually all of the same avenues of intellectual protection as a supermaximalist institution.

In other words, although a maximalist institution uses less strict policy language to control faculty's intellectual property than supermaximalist institutions, the end result is the same. The semantics are different, but the both ultimately enforce the same levels of restriction regarding faculty intellectual property.

This is the key (and, I assume, faulty) inference I made based on the lines of text I mention above. With this inference in my mind, I concluded that contrary to what answer choice A states, supermaximalist institutions could not possibly run the GREATEST risk of losing faculty, merely the same level of risk as maximalist institutions. I came to this conclusion because the passage seems to treat the end result of faculty intellectual property restriction as the same for both maximalist and supermaximalist institutions. And therefore, the passage was not suggesting what was laid out in A.

There's a error in reasoning somewhere in there, and I'm usually good about spotting my reasoning errors after the fact, but I still feel this one is alluding me. I suspect I may be interpreting the phrase "greatest risk" in the answer choice to mean something more narrow than what the LSAT writers intended.

I'd really appreciate help in understanding my error here. Thanks again!
 Luke Haqq
PowerScore Staff
  • PowerScore Staff
  • Posts: 653
  • Joined: Apr 26, 2012
Hi NeverMissing!

Given what you've written, I think the crux of this one is that the passage suggests supermaximalist and maximalist are different categorizations. Supermaximalist is broader and more encompassing than maximalist.

You're right to quote the language, "can affect virtually all of a faculty member's intellectual protection" for describing what the author says about maximalist institutions, but the words I've italicized seem key. In contrast, the passage (around line 27) states that "supramaximalist institution stakes out the broadest claim possible." That language in itself is exclusive, since it's part of Chew's fourfold classification. In other words:

supermaximalist :arrow: broadest claim possible
maximalist :arrow: can affect virtually all of a faculty member's intellectual protection
resource-provider institution :arrow: "significant use"
Faculty-oriented :arrow: assume that researchers own their own intellectual products

Hope that helps! Supermaximalist institutions run the greatest risk of losing faculty under the 4 discussed types of institutions. They wouldn't run the same level of risk as maximalist institutions, because even though the language is somewhat similar, those two classifications are distinct.
User avatar
  • Posts: 21
  • Joined: Jul 11, 2023

Roughly speaking, I arrived at the correct answer by eliminating (A) and (B) and reasoning that the passage suggest (C) if and only if the passage suggests (D).

I'd appreciate some feedback (if someone is willing to give it) on some details of reasoning, more specifically, on (E).

I was initially worried about (E) because, in my opinion, the passage never suggests that, on a resource-provider approach, there are any "degrees" of ownership claimed, at least, perhaps, beyond "full" and "none". Here are the sentences in question:
A resource-provider
institution asserts a claim to faculty’s intellectual
product in those cases where “significant use” of
university time and facilities is employed. Of course,
what constitutes significant use of resources is a matter of institutional judgment.
To me, this suggests only that, if "significant use" is deemed to be met, some ownership is claimed, and, if not, no ownership is claimed. There is no suggestion that more ownership is claimed the more "use [of university time and faculties]" the university finds! In fact, talk of "significant use" suggests that we're dealing not with a positive correlational relationship but a bar that has to be met for any amount of ownership to be claimed.

Remember, (E) talks about "degree of ownership claimed" specifically.

In the end, I cleared (E) because I reasoned that, even in a case where one only has variation between a claim of full ownership and a claim of no ownership (just for example), one has variation of degree of ownership claimed. Two degrees are some degrees, after all.
 Adam Tyson
PowerScore Staff
  • PowerScore Staff
  • Posts: 5105
  • Joined: Apr 14, 2011
In the end, I cleared (E) because I reasoned that, even in a case where one only has variation between a claim of full ownership and a claim of no ownership (just for example), one has variation of degree of ownership claimed. Two degrees are some degrees, after all.
That's the right way to see it, coupled with the reference to the determination being a matter of judgment. That suggests that it will vary from case to case, with some cases being "it's ours" and others being "it's yours."

Get the most out of your LSAT Prep Plus subscription.

Analyze and track your performance with our Testing and Analytics Package.