Marc H. Hedrick, Prosper Benhaim, Hermann Peter Lorenz, and Min Zhu appeal
the judgment of the United States District Court for the Central District of California
finding that they were not co-inventors of U.S. Patent No. 6,777,231, and granting a
misjoinder motion pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 256. Univ. of Pittsburgh v. Hedrick, No. 2:04-
cv-09014 (C.D. Cal. June 9, 2008). Because we agree that University of Pittsburgh
researchers Adam Katz and Ramon Llull completed conception of the claimed invention
before the appealing researchers contributed their efforts, we affirm.
Note mention of a document titled “What’s So Great About Fat?” in February 1997.
Note that research proposals got involved in the patenting process:
In July of 1997, Hedrick joined the Pittsburgh laboratory for a yearlong fellowship.
During his time in the lab, Katz submitted a grant proposal summarizing his work with
Llull, stating that their “lab has developed techniques to harvest, isolate, culture,
passage, dedifferentiate, differentiate, and genetically alter” adipose-derived progenitor
cells efficiently. While some researchers other than Katz and Llull were listed in the
proposal, Hedrick was not. Hedrick was also not mentioned in Katz’s laboratory
notebook in connection with any work on adipose-derived stem cells, though other
researchers involved in the work were mentioned. Hedrick, however, wrote his own
research proposal setting forth some experiments on Katz’s cells.