Thursday, August 07, 2008

Patent attorneys should NOT assume peer review is confidential

In the patent business, patent attorneys frequently encounter academic scientists who talk about the confidentiality of "peer review" or "grant review" processes. A recent case involving the journal Performance Evaluation illustrates that this can be a bad assumption.

One Professor Karmeshu submitted a paper to Performance Evaluation. It was rejected. HOWEVER, ideas from the manuscript showed up in a talk at Euro-NGI 2007 (by one Kouvatsos), sponsored by IEEE. Karmeshu asserted plagiarism.

Here's the rub, as reported by LiveMint:

The case involves an ethical conflict stemming from Kouvatsos having been one of the three reviewers who read the paper submitted by Prof. Karmeshu and Sharma to Performance Evaluation, which publishes research papers on the performance of computers, computer systems, and telecommunications. The journal rejected the Indian paper “in its present form,” about 14 months after it was submitted in July 2005 for publication.

Don't assume confidentiality.

Separately, of someone in England plagiarizing someone in India, recall "In re '639 Litigation" on nabumetone/Relafen, in which SKB received a composition of matter patent (found invalid in the litigation) on a composition previously disclosed by Indian researchers.


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