Genetics Lab Sues Ropes & grey For Allegedly Plagiarizing Patent Application

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When Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory went hunting for a reason why its 2007 patent application for what it viewed to be a “genetics breakthrough” was denied, it came up an interesting conclusion. Plagiarism was to blame.

According to the New York Law Journal, one of the lab’s top scientists was denied a patent for technology that could enable scientists to turn off certain genes because Ropes & grey partner Matthew Vincent copied the patent from a rival scientist and Nobel Prize winner Andrew Fire.

“Lawyers copy all the time.  It’s called using precedents,” concludes Law Shucks.

Cold Spring sued for malpractice in February, asking for $37.5 million to $82.5 million plus punitive damages for the loss of licensing and royalty revenue. Ropes & grey filed a motion to dismiss the suit Tuesday and argued that it’s “ethical and legal” to copy text from other patents.

Not that lawyer Vincent is off the hook.

New York Law Journal: Meanwhile, Ropes & grey last year fired Vincent after discovering that a patent database company that billed the firm and its clients more than $730,000 was secretly owned by Vincent.

Vincent, who was based in Boston, resigned from the Massachusetts Bar in July with charges pending by the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers.

Is plagiarism the gateway drug of litigation?

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