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Jane Jankowski
IU Media Relations

Last modified: Friday, February 20, 2004

Indiana University files lawsuit against Merck & Co.

INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana University and Indiana University's Advanced Research and Technology Institute filed a lawsuit on Feb. 20 in federal court in Indianapolis against Merck & Co. Inc. and Merck & Co. Ltd., Whitehouse Station, N.J.

The complaint seeks to establish that Dr. Darron Brown, a scientist in the Indiana University School of Medicine, should be identified as an inventor, along with Merck scientists, on several patents owned by Merck. The patents relate to the creation of vaccines against the human papilloma virus, a cause of various serious diseases.

The university filed the lawsuit after negotiating with Merck for more than six months. The company refused to resolve the issue of Brown's contribution to Merck's patented inventions to the satisfaction of IU and Merck.

ARTI and the university are reluctantly pursuing litigation against Merck. "On this issue, we believe we must take this action to protect the interests of the university, ARTI and Dr. Brown," said Mark Long, ARTI president and chief executive officer. "Dr. Brown made valuable contributions to the invention being patented by Merck, and he should be recognized for those contributions."