News, events and resources from the Drexel University Libraries related to chemistry.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

A Patent on Thinking? Huh?

Ok the U.S. Patent office has been known to give patents to some bizarre inventions, but a patent on thinking? Paleeeeze!

From Chronicle of Higher Education
Chronicle Review
From the issue dated February 17, 2006

The Patent Office as Thought Police
(Lori B. Andrews is a professor of law at the Chicago-Kent College of Law at the Illinois Institute of Technology and director of the Institute for Science, Law, and Technology there. Her first novel, Sequence, will be published in June by St. Martin's Press.)

The boundaries of academic freedom may be vastly circumscribed by the U.S. Supreme Court this term in a case that is not even on most universities' radar. Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings v. Metabolite Laboratories Inc. is not a traditional case of academic freedom involving professors as parties and raising First Amendment concerns. In fact, nobody from a university is a party in this commercial dispute, a patent case between two for-profit laboratories. But at the heart of the case is the essence of campus life: the freedom to think and publish.
LabCorp appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which hears all patent appeals. Astonishingly, it held that LabCorp had induced doctors to infringe the patent by publishing the biological fact that high homocysteine levels indicate vitamin deficiency. The court also ruled that the doctors had directly infringed the patent by merely thinking about the physiological relationship. (Metabolite had not sued the doctors, probably because such lawsuits would have cost more than they would have netted the company and would have produced negative publicity.)

To read the entire article go to:
Chronicle of Higher Education (may require Drexel logon)


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