The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that a Dartmouth College bioengineering professor did not commit fraud in obtaining a license to use genome sequencing data and did not breach his written agreement to publish only a limited portion of the data each year by sharing it with his business. Integrated Genomics, Inc. v. Gerngross, No. 09-3718 (7th Cir., decided February 24, 2011).
According to the court, while the professor was not entirely forthcoming about his dual affiliation, the plaintiff failed to introduce sufficient evidence to show that it would have charged the professor a significantly higher licensing fee had it known the data would be used by his company. The court also determined that the agreement’s publication restriction was intended to apply to public dissemination of the data and not to its communication to the professor’s company. So ruling, the court affirmed a lower court determination.