Monday, September 12, 2005

Columbia University Axel patent saga ending soon?

The attempted extension by Columbia University of patent rights in the Axel patents produced litigation in 2003. The dispute apparently is now winding down. An article in Fortune in Sept. 2005 severely criticized Columbia University's behavior in this matter, which was not unlike the behavior manifested by Lemelson in the Symbol v. Lemelson Foundation case. Columbia University was also involved in the false publication matter involving Rogerio Lobo.

from The Chronicle of Higher Education:

Columbia University is winding down a legal fight with biotechnology companies that sued the university in 2003 and accused it of illegitimately trying to extend its monopoly on a research discovery patented in the early 1980s.

Over the past five months, the university has resolved its disputes with all but one of the companies that had been pursuing the case. The most recent settlement, with Biogen Idec MA and the Genzyme Corporation, came early last month, according to Columbia's lawyer, David I. Gindler.

The patents were by Columbia professor Richard Axel, a Nobel Prize winner last year. Axel created a way to splice bits of DNA into living cells to create human proteins, a technique vital to drug manufacturing for which Columbia's patents had expired in 2000.
Biogen Idec, Genzyme and others sued Columbia in 2002 after the school won a new patent for proteins derived from Axel's research and sought additional royalties.


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