Assigning Rights In Future Inventions: The U.S. Supreme Court’s Decision In Board Of Trustees Of The Leland Stanford Junior University v. Roche Molecular Systems, Inc.

Sangeeta Puran

Sangeeta Puran

Mayer Brown International LLP

One of the most eagerly awaited patent decisions of the last 12 months was the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University v Roche Molecular Systems, Inc.1 Whilst starting as a patent infringement suit, the case was ultimately decided on other issues such as the priority of rights to an invention, where the inventor has purported to assign the same invention separately to different parties, and the assignment of future inventions. The underlying invention had been partly funded by a federal agency so the case was further complicated by issues concerning the scope of the U.S. Bayh-Dole Act and in particular its effect on who owns an invention, the development of which has been touched by even a dollar of federal funding

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