The Supreme Court has granted certiorari to Stanford v. Roche, where it will decide whether invention rights from federally funded research must go to the University where the researcher worked. See, Stanford University v. Roche, 09-1159.
Stanford researcher Mark Holodniy patented a technology for discovering HIV levels in a patient’s blood. Holodniy went on to work for pharmaceutical company Roche, to which Holodniy contracting his rights in the technology in return for their participation in the research. As a result, Stanford sued Roche for infringement of the technology, asserting that the tech rights belong to Stanford by virtue of the 1980 Bayh-Dole Act, which allows universities to retain the rights to research funded by federal grants.
This should make for a landmark case where the court will opine on the strength (and maybe the validity) of the Bayh-Dole act, and finally provide some clear guidance to university researchers.
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