Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Lab notebooks in patent litigation

Patent Docs, in a post about University of Pittsburgh v. Hedrick, discusses how UCLA professors were removed as inventors of US Patent 6,777,231.

Patent Docs noted:

the District Court concluded that the University of Pittsburgh had carried its burden of showing by clear and convincing evidence that the UCLA inventors (Benhaim, Hedrick, Lorenz, and Zhu) were not inventors of the invention claimed in the '231 patent. According to the Court, the evidence established that Dr. Hedrick's work regarding differentiation of adipose-derived stem cells into nerve cells occurred after Drs. Katz and Llull conceived of the claimed invention, i.e., adipose-derived stem cells that could be induced to differentiate into multiple cell types (adipose and muscle cells). The Court concluded that the UCLA inventors' work merely "confirmed the operability of the invention." Thus, only Drs. Katz and Llul are properly named as inventors of the '231 patent.

Laboratory notebooks played a roll. Patent Docs stated: The Court credited evidence from laboratory notebooks that Drs. Katz and Llull showed their adipose-derived stem cells could differentiate into several different cell types, including adipose cells, nerve cells, and muscle cells. Dr. Katz also "appreciated" the capacity of these adipose-derived stem cells for self-renewal, according to the Court. The Court found that the earliest date of conception for the invention claimed in the '231 patent was several years before work began at UCLA.


[IPBiz post 3943]


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