NPR on Stanford University's "arginine" patent
From the NPR post Bodybuilders Beef Over A Workout Supplement — And A Stanford Patent :
Katharine Ku, director of the Stanford OTL, says the purpose of the office is "to transfer the technology from the university to the commercial sector. We want our inventions to be developed, by companies, and then sold to the public."
When I brought up the arginine patents and Kramer's use of them, my conversation with Ku grew tense. "You have an angle on this one that is not legit to me," she said. "I mean, they are a company. They sell product."
I asked Ku how much research they'd done on ThermoLife and Kramer before awarding the license. "I don't think we're going to look into their personal backgrounds," she replied. She also said Stanford isn't getting very much money from all the lawsuits brought by ThermoLife.
In case of Kramer, the arginine patent was based on federally funded research by a Stanford professor in the early 1990s. The study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, initially showed that regular arginine use could help people with clogged arteries by increasing blood flow.
Claim 1 of US 6,117,872:
1. A method for enhancing physical performance of a mammal prior to said physical performance, said method comprising:
to said mammal prior to said physical performance as the active
ingredient an amino acid composition consisting of at least one amino
acid selected the group consisting of arginine and lysine of at least
about 60 mg/kg/day within 24 h of said physical performance.
US Patent 6642208