Takeaway: Business owners and universities alike should make sure they fully understand what the terms of their intellectual property licensing agreements entail.
University of Wisconsin ordered to pay nearly 32 million dollars after a Delaware federal court determined that they should have paid that amount to Washington University in St. Louis in a patent licensing deal. The patent was directed to treatment for hyperparathyroidism and was developed by scientists from both University of Wisconsin and Washington University in St. Louis.
According to the court, the two schools had a license agreement to share profits from U.S. Patent No. 5,597,815. According to Washington University in St. Louis’s attorney, the agreement entitled Washington University in St. Louis to one third of the royalties from the patent. However, the actual details of the agreement and how the court calculated damages remain undisclosed, because the opinion was filed under seal.