I wonder how widespread this type of happy collaborating is? Long time ago the Bayh-Dole Act 1980 (same year Reagan elected) made it possible to patient academic invention one of the acts in the growing process of privatizing Universities. Hhow wide
spread is this practice now? Hard to tell.
I have a vision of the tenure process for chemists in a decade, if it is not already gone, at publicly funded universities having to demonstrate that they can obtain funding from private companies. Faculty and graduate students at public (meaning students
tuition supported and a bit from the state) universities doing research on the cheap (we are much cheaper than a company chemist). Now that is a good deal for chemical companies. If tenure is involved, you know who the chemists will be working for and they
cannot say no. And the assistant professors may not think that practice strange.