News & CommentBiotechnology

NIH Nixes Appeal to Bypass Patent Law

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Science  08 Aug 1997:
Vol. 277, Issue 5327, pp. 759-760
DOI: 10.1126/science.277.5327.759

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National Institutes of Health (NIH) director Harold Varmus sided with Johns Hopkins University last week in a high-profile patent dispute with a feisty biotech company, CellPro Inc. of Bothell, Washington. He turned down an appeal by CellPro for NIH to take control of a Hopkins patent on a widely touted cell-sorting technique. Just over a week earlier, Judge Roderick McKelvie of the federal court in Wilmington, Delaware, ordered CellPro to pay Hopkins and its commercial partners triple damages, amounting to $6,961,479, for infringing the university's patents.