Tuesday, April 25, 2006

California vs. Wisconsin: Dangerous Monopoly?

An op-ed piece recently in the Los Angeles Times ripped into the hold that the Wisconsin Alumni Research Organization has on stem cell patents, saying that the organization"may exert a dangerous monopoly."

The article by Jennifer Washburn, author of "University , Inc.: The Corporate Corruption of Higher Education, says the patents pose a "new and potentially even more worrisome challenge" to the California stem cell agency than its difficulties since January of last year.

WARF has already served notice that it wants cash from California. This blog was the first medium to publish that news March 14.

Washburn's predictions, however, have been challenged by Lawrence Ebert, an intellectual property attorney in New Jersey. "There may be a visceral reaction to lash out against patents perceived to be overbroad," Ebert wrote, but he said negotiation and a "research safe harbor" in federal law could protect California from being ravaged by WARF.

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