Here is a post that I did on this subject in February drawing from the Pharmalot blog. Today, I saw a nice follow up from the In the Pipeline blog. Essentially, academia and industry are arguing patent ownership rights and whether Bayh-Dole should prevail and confer rights to the University or if an individual inventor can assign his/her rights to a third party -- in this case industry as embodied by Roche.
A District Court ruled in Stanford's favor but the Court of Appeals went with Roche. Now, we're on to the Supreme Court to decide who is the winner! Both sides say if they lose, that academia will never work with industry again (Stanford loss) and industry will never work with academia again (Roche loss). I don't think either prediction likely there -- but certainly the IP landscape will shift again and the IP attorney's stand to find much more work in crafting these type of collaborations.
At the end of the day, both groups need each other in the current drug discovery environment -- but it will take even more time/money to work out who owns what after this decision. Of course, working with any entity that doesn't want to assert IP rights in favor of being paid to do the work will be in the most favored status on new work.
Posted by Bruce Lehr April 8th 2011.