Tissue Rights and Ownership: Is a Cell Line a Research Tool or a Person?

To doctors, the HeLa cell line is an invaluable tool in the treatment of disease; to the Lacks family, it is an invaluable piece of their mother.  The HeLa cell line, the first “immortal” cell line, is the solution to overcoming many impediments in biomedical research, and a key tool in developing certain cures and drugs that have the potential to improve the lives of millions of people.  That collection of cells derives from the Continue Reading →

Taking Games Online Highlights Holes in Current Property Regime

For video games, the horizon may hold more than the promise of superior graphics, improved audio bitrates, and expanded narrative. Following the rise of increasingly complex and inclusive second-life simulations, i.e., MMORPGs (“massively multiplayer online role playing games”), gamers and developers alike are now faced with a variety of legal troubles both novel and daunting. Who owns an in-game sword: the person who found it or the company that coded it? If that sword is Continue Reading →