News FocusIntellectual Property

Patent Suit Pits Postdoc Against Former Mentor

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Science  31 Mar 2000:
Vol. 287, Issue 5462, pp. 2399-2401
DOI: 10.1126/science.287.5462.2399

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In an opinion that may be instructive for postdocs, a federal judge has thrown out a former postdoc's claim that her work was patented by her former mentor without her knowledge, ruling that the university owns her work so she lacks standing for a suit. All the defendants in the case have denied her claims, and her former mentor has argued that her contributions to the patented work did not merit co-inventor status, even though she was lead author on a key paper describing a gene that formed the basis of the patent.