A recent case concerning intellectual property (IP) rights centers around a Stanford University researcher and several patents he authored concerning HIV nucleic acid measurement,is serious enough to be brought before the supreme court.
Stanford University researcher Mark Holodniy had an agreement with the college, which included language that he would “agree to assign” patent rights to it. However, he also had a consulting agreement with a small start up company that collaborated with the university on the research, and signed another document that stated “I do assign my rights,” it was more of a contract.
Stanford sued stating that because because the work was done with government funding (even though Stanford is a private University), it was privy to the government’s rights.
It is expected that Supreme Court will discuss government rights and implications under the Bayh-Dole Act. The legislation was written to facilitate technology transfers outside of research. “The act was written to foster development that could be commercialized so more people benefit,” she says. “But under the act the government would retain certain rights.”
The Supreme Court will interpret the act, which they have not done before.