CIRM's opponents might "always file another lawsuit based on another issue, if they can find one," but it's hard to say if they'll be able to come up with one, John Wetherell of Pillsbury said. "There have been some organizations - not parties to this litigation - who have raised the issue of potential conflict of interest, since some of the people who sit on CIRM are also from agencies that might receive that funding." But that problem seems fairly simple to solve, by leaving those CIRM members out of discussions on a case-by-case basis.
"Another important issue that needs to be resolved, and we're still waiting on this, is how much licensing royalty should flow back to the state off any technology that comes about" as a result of CIRM funding, Wetherell said. "There's a tension between the legislature and CIRM over how the state would get a piece of the action," but the situation might be resolved easily without more lawsuits, he said.
Within his firm, Wetherell heads a group called SCOPE (Stem Cell Outlook and Planning Effort), established when the debates over Prop 71 began to heat up. "It's a sort of SWAT team, if you will," he said, calling himself "the geek-on-call for the science" of stem cells - where much research is "basic, platform-type," far from marketed drugs. Scientists still are figuring out how to increase and differentiate stem cells for therapeutic benefit.
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman “SCOPEs” the Stem Cell Industry which includes text:
The SCOPE initiative aims to serve existing clients with expanding activities in the stem cell area, as well as research organizations and biotech companies that may be newly drawn to San Francisco and other key regions in California where the firm has offices -- San Diego, Silicon Valley, Sacramento and Los Angeles. The expectation is that such clients will need legal services coordinated among those geographic areas and a variety of legal fields, such as Prop 71 compliance, early-stage corporate and venture capital issues, patent portfolio strategies, IP analysis and disclosure obligations, trade secrets, grant and loan issues, technology licensing and real estate transactions.
Note also the 2005 stem cell symposium, including:
Sylvia Burks, Legal Councel, Pillsbury Winthorp LLP
Maureen Corcoran, Expert on Prop 71, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
John Wetherell, IP Lawyer, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP