Sunday, February 22, 2009

Remembering URochester and the COX-2 patent litigation

IPBiz got a chuckle out of post at Patent Baristas:

Mark Lemley, Professor of Law at Stanford Law School, seems to distinguish universities from trolls on the premise that universities (generally) do not lie in wait until an industry has developed around a technology and then demanding a disproportionate share of royalties based on irreversible investments. Having run a university technology transfer office, I can assure you that these offices generally are not even aware of how a technology is developing. This is not to slight universities, it’s just that universities can have inventions form a thousand different technology areas. No one could keep track of every industry.

Lemley also points to the fact that most university licenses give the licensee not just protection from lawsuits but also provide valuable know-how. He sums this up as “University patent owners aren’t trolls in my view when they contribute previously unknown technology to society, rather than just imposing costs on others by obtaining and asserting legal rights over inventions independently developed by others.”

These folks must have been sleeping when the University of Rochester, on the very day its COX-2 patent issued, sued Searle for patent infringement as to the commercial product Celebrex. What were Lemley and Albainy-Jenei thinking? Maybe they also should contemplate Ariad and Lilly. Lemley, separately, likely does not want to discuss the Metabolite case. And don't forget Columbia's Axel patents.


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