In a case involving the OncoMouse, a rodent genetically modified to contain a cancer-causing gene that can be inherited, Harvard College and its licensee sued the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
In the complaint filed Sept. 14 in federal court in Alexandra, Va., Harvard has asked the court to review the patent office's refusal to consider additional claims to patent 5,925,803, which covers a testing method using transgenic mice having the cancer-causing gene.
Harvard and its exclusive licensee, DuPont Co., are asking the court to declare that the patent office "acted arbitrarily, capriciously, and contrary to law" by concluding that the patent had expired and in refusing to permit added claims.
They want the patent office to add new claims and for the court to declare the patent is still in effect.
Licensing rates for the OncoMouse haven't been disclosed. A 2004 article in The Scientist magazine suggests that the transgenic mice patents "are some of the most valuable intellectual property that has ever been created." According to the database of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, DuPont registered "OncoMouse" as a trademark in January 2002.
The case is President and Fellows of Harvard College v. David J. Kappos, 1:12-cv-01034-LO-IDD, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia (Alexandria).
DC Comics sues Fla. barbershops over 'Superman' marks
Time Warner Inc.'s DC Comics unit sued the operator of two central Florida barbershops for trademark infringement.
The comic book company objects to the "Supermen Fades to Fros" and "Superman's Pro Barbershop" names used by the barbershops, and the use of its Superman-related trademarks on the barbershop chain's outdoor signs and websites.
The public is likely to falsely assume that an affiliation exists between the barbershops and the comic book company, DC Comics says. Despite receiving multiple requests from DC Comics to cease and desist in its alleged infringement, the barbershop chain continues to use "infringing promotions in the marketing, advertising and solicitation of the infringing barbershops," the comic book company said in its complaint.
It asked the court to bar further infringement, for the surrender and destruction of all infringing promotional materials and to be awarded the shops' supermenfadestofros.com Internet domain name.
DC Comics also asked to be awarded three times the shops' profits attributable to the alleged infringement, attorney fees and ligation costs.