The present study investigates whether activities related to the patenting of inventions impede or are in conflict with the academic performance of university professors, particularly the publication or the production of public knowledge. The Poisson regression model is used taking into account the confounding effects of other variables deemed to affect the publication productivity, viz.; research/faculty orientation, collaboration, etc. The study is conducted in South Africa, where university R&D is highly funded by the private sector, compared to other countries, viz. USA, UK, Germany, etc. Furthermore, within the South African institutions of learning, there are more incentives to publish than to invent. It is found that: (i) inventiveness and academic performance can co-exist and re-enforce each other, (ii) professors who are inventive have a broader network of researchers collaborators and (iii) perform highly academically (from the NRF-rating perspective) and publish more than those who do not invent at all.