I am not an expert in intellectual property rights on campus, technology transfer, and licensing, but I am taking advantage of the recent Stanford – Roche ruling to learn a lot more. It appears the earth has shifted under the feet of research universities. From Greg Stohr at Bloomberg:
The U.S. Supreme Court, in a ruling that limits the patent rights of research universities, threw out Stanford University’s suit against a Roche Holding AG ROG unit over methods for testing the effectiveness of AIDS treatments.
Voting 7-2, the justices upheld a lower court’s conclusion that a scientist working at Stanford in Palo Alto, California, transferred his rights to the discoveries to a company whose line of business Roche later bought. Under the court’s reasoning, the transfer made the company a co-owner of three disputed patents.
The ruling is a setback for universities, which had contended the transfer was barred under a U.S. law that governs federally funded research. Universities said earlier that a ruling favoring Roche might cast doubt on patents stemming from hundreds of billions of dollars in research.