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For the casual observer, a glance at the Supreme Court’s decision in Stanford v. Roche Molecular Systems or the attendant media coverage this summer probably revealed little, if anything, to lose sleep over. The question presented regarded a university’s rights under the Bayh-Dole Act to federally funded inventions. That’s hardly pulse-quickening, unless you work for a university or a company that engages in or uses federally funded research. And that’s with all due respect to the Bayh-Dole Act, which has been tremendously important in moving innovations from universities into the marketplace over the last thirty years. Nevertheless, a closer look at this case should send a chill down the spine of any lawyer charged with protecting his client’s intellectual property rights.

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