News of the WeekIntellectual Property

Alzheimer's Researcher in Japan Accused of Economic Espionage

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Science  18 May 2001:
Vol. 292, Issue 5520, pp. 1274-1275
DOI: 10.1126/science.292.5520.1274

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WASHINGTON, D.C., AND TOKYO-- Scientists who study Alzheimer's disease were shocked last week to learn that the U.S. Justice Department has indicted one of their colleagues, Takashi Okamoto, for conspiring "to benefit a foreign government" and "steal" trade secrets. Okamoto's peers, who describe him as brilliant but eccentric, are puzzled by the severity of the charges involving material that appears to have no commercial value.