Saturday, March 24, 2007

Issues with CIRM grant to K.Y.Cha entity: patent angle

In an earlier post concerning the CIRM grant of money to an entity related to K.Y. Cha, IPBiz had noted that the journal Fertility and Sterility has censured the authors of a 2005 article (including K.Y. Cha) after learning a Korean journal had published the identical paper one year earlier. The Fertility and Sterility authors also left off the name of Jeong-Hwan Kim, who was listed as the first author on the Korean paper and performed the bulk of the research reported in both papers. There are distinct issues here. The authors of the Fertility and Sterility paper violated a CONTRACT with Fertility and Sterility (forbidding previous publication). The authors of the Fertility and Sterility took credit for the work of Kim, whose name was not included in the list of authors.

A February 2006 article in the Los Angeles Times (Charles Ornstein, p. B1, 18 Feb. 06) had indicated that patent and copyright issues were also implicated. ["Dr. Sook-Hwan Lee, who is set to stand trial later this month in Seoul on copyright infringement charges pertaining to the research." (...) "Lee also had filed a patent on the findings."] Ornstein also wrote: "Kim found out that Cha's group of authors had presented the research as their own at a meeting of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine [ASRM]in October 2004."

IPBiz has obtained details on the patent in question:

Korean application number: 10-0554102
(22) Date of application: 4 Sept 2003
(43) Open to public on 11 Mar 2006

One of the co-inventors on the application is SY Ku, who works at Seoul National University [SNU] Hospital. During a media conference in 2006, CHA group announced that they were applying for a US Patent.

The same tables and figures as those in the article in Korean Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology appear in the patent application. On February 12, 2006, the editorial board of the Korean Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology told DeCherney (of the journal Fertility and Sterility) they had reviewed the evidence and confirmed that Kim had played a significant enough role to designate him as the first author of the Fertility and Sterility paper.

Although in context, the comments of the editorial board of the Korean Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology pertain to the issue of plagiarism by the authors of the later-appearing article in Fertility and Sterility, the comments may have relevance to the impending PATENT issue, involving Korean application number 10-0554102, and (potentially) any U.S. patent application claiming priority thereto. Also relevant is Dr. Kim's statement he was a Clinician, not a researcher, who had no contract with the Cha Research lab.

See also

[Ornstein's initial source was apparently an academic in the US.]


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