Companies Battle Over Technology That's Free on the Web

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Science  15 Oct 1999:
Vol. 286, Issue 5439, pp. 446
DOI: 10.1126/science.286.5439.446

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On 17 April 1998, a grad student at Stanford posted a document called the "MGuide" on the Web telling readers how to build a microarray robot for a fraction of what it would cost to obtain the equipment from large commercial enterprises, such as Affymetrix Inc. of Santa Clara, California, maker of GeneChip systems (see main text). Affymetrix has never challenged the MGuide. But the company has been engaged in a furious legal battle with business rivals using the same technology, including a competitor that was born at Stanford called Synteni Inc. of Palo Alto, California.