Court says university, company co-owners of patent

June 6, 2011 - 9:58 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court says ownership of a patent for technology used to detect HIV levels in a patient's blood was correctly split between Stanford University and the pharmaceutical giant Roche.

The high court on Monday upheld a lower court's decision making the company and the university co-owners of a patent for technology in HIV test kits.

Stanford says it owned the technology because its discoverer worked there. The 1980 Bayh-Dole Act allows universities to retain rights to research funded by federal grants.

But Stanford researcher Mark Holodniy also signed a contract that gave Roche the patent to anything that resulted from their collaboration. A federal appeals court made Roche and Stanford co-owners, and the high court agreed on a 7-2 vote.

The case is Stanford University v. Roche, 09-1159.