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Gene-splice patent showdown.

A major biotechnology company. Cetus of Emeryville, Calif., has terminated the license agreement that permits its use of recombinant DNA techniques patented by Stanford University and the University of California, and sale of the products of those techniques. This action challenges the force of the patents covering techniques that Stanford University claims underlie the entire biotechnology industry. Biotechnology continues at Cetus, and at least two of the products are nearing marketability. In a letter to Stanford, Cetus's patent attorney said that the company's current and planned activities are not included "within the scope of any valid claim" of the Stanford-U.C. patents.

The two patents were issued in 1980 and 1984. Currently 73 companies are licensed to use the basic recombinant DNA techniques, says Niels Reimers of Stanford's office of technology licensing. The licensing program already has generated more than $3.5 million for the two universities.
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Title Annotation:Cetus challenges validity of Stanford's patents
Publication:Science News
Date:May 18, 1985
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