Tuesday, April 04, 2006

It's all about the patents, baby

As California's voters scratch their heads wondering where the cures to diseases and boatloads of financial returns that proponents of Prop. 71 promised are, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation's (WARF) lawyers are telling California researchers that WARF "will demand a significant chunk of royalties from any of California's (embryonic stem cell) efforts."
Carl Gulbrandsen, executive director of WARF, told the Wisconsin State Journal last week that ``I'm not embarrassed at all to say that I hope the University of Wisconsin will make a whole lot of money from these patents.'' The journal Science reported that WARF typically charges as much as $125,000 for a commercial license with a $40,000 annual maintenance fee.

An article in the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal notes,
Under the policy approved by the board overseeing the institute, organizations that generate more than $500,000 from discoveries that result from research funded by the institute will have to pay a royalty of 25 percent beyond that threshold.

The Mercury News editorial (first link) is none too happy about this and claims that researchers "should have as much claim to patent embryonic stem cells as they do to laying claims on laws of nature. Namely, zero."

No comments:

Post a Comment