In December 1998, an intellectual property executive at DuPont pondered a new program for the 196-year-old company. The executive was reviewing a proposal to donate DuPont patents to universities around the United States. The move promised substantial financial benefits for DuPont?the company could save on fees to maintain the patents, and they could gain significant tax deductions. But should DuPont make such a donation, and if so, should it offer patents in the life sciences or in another discipline? Did the program hold any strategic or tax-related risks for DuPont?