Saturday, July 08, 2006

UAlabama/Nektar/Shearwater: Bayh-Dole gone bad?

The recent settlement between the University of Alabama/Huntsville ["UAH"] and Nektar/Milton Harris illustrates an example of how the Bayh-Dole Act can (possibly) be misused.

UAH filed a lawsuit claiming Milton Harris (a former UAH professor) obtained several patents for work he did while part of the UAH faculty without informing the school. The lawsuit said the patents were UAH property, but were used to determine the value of Shearwater. The case had been scheduled for trial in early 2007. In 2001, Nektar of San Carlos, CA bought Shearwater, a biotechnology business founded by Harris, for $197 million.

Nektar Chairman Robert B. Chess said the settlement "is in the best interests of Nektar."


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