Thursday, April 13, 2006

Schatten and the "In-Depth 60 Minutes" videoclip

The Korea Times is running a story about Gerald Schatten and a videoclip from "In-Depth 60 Minutes."

Schatten's cip published on Feb. 16, 2006 does include claims with the extrusion as a claim element. Schatten's cip also clearly cites to Hwang's 2004 paper in Science for the discovery of this approach. One has to appreciate one is dealing with claims which are a combination of elements. Extrusion was an element, but it was in the public domain at the time Schatten filed.

from the Korea Times:

The clip is spreading rapidly among Internet users and raising more questions over the stem cell scandal involving Schatten and the now disgraced Hwang.

KBS made the program about suspicions Schatten stole patents from Hwang but, after previewing the footage, decided not to release the program due to possible legal issues arising from some unconfirmed contents.

However, ``In-Depth 60 Minutes'' producer Moon Hyong-ryeol took a copy of the program footage and completed recording with help of a local production company.

In an interview with Internet news site Polinews, he said he would disclose it online despite KBS not allowing its release.

On Tuesday night, Moon released the first 14 minutes of the total 60 minutes program through nine foreign and domestic Internet sites. He plans to release it on 30 sites in 16 countries.

The video clip has spread fast on major portal sites and the KBS Web site. Internet users also rushed to access peer-to-peer (P2P) sites such as Pruna and eDonkey to download the files. The Polinews Web site was shut down due to excessive access.

According to the footage, Schatten is suspected of stealing Hwang's technologies to apply for patents as if they were developed by him.

According to the footage Schatten applied for patents in the United States on April 9 2003, for a technology needed for nuclear transfer of animal somatic cells, about nine months before Hwang applied for patents with the World Intellectual Property Organization on Dec. 30 2003.

But Schatten's technology at that time was transferring nuclear through suction, which was not very efficient.

Schatten visited Hwang's lab in Korea in November 2003, and saw the team's method of gently squeezing genetic materials out of human eggs before cloning a somatic cell.

In January 2004, Schatten and Hwang agreed to cooperate on stem cell research, and Hwang published a stem cell paper in the U.S. journal ``Science'' the next month.

On April 9, 2004, Schatten added Hwang's technique gently squeezing out nuclear contents from eggs to his patent lineup, according to Moon's video clip.

A lawyer in Maryland said in the footage that Schatten deliberately approached Hwang on the technique and added it to his patent.

Regarding the release, KBS said it would file civil and criminal petitions against Moon, as the copyright of the footage belongs to the broadcaster. It also deprived Moon of his position as the investigative program's producer.

Internet users who saw the footage showed mixed reactions. Some supported Moon and criticized KBS for preventing the release, while others claimed Hwang's research fabrication cannot be justified although his technology was stolen.


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