15 Am. J.L. & Med. 439 (1989)
Institut Pasteur v. United States: The AIDS Paten Dispute, the Contract Disputes Act and the International Exchange of Scientific Data

handle is hein.journals/amlmed15 and id is 451 raw text is: Institut Pasteur v. United States: The
AIDS Patent Dispute, the Contract
Disputes Act and the International
Exchange of Scientific Data
Howard L. Singer*
In the case of Institut Pasteur v. United States, the Institut Pasteur
(Pasteur) claimed that the National Cancer Institute (NCI) had breached
express and implied contracts to share research on AIDS virus samples pro-
vided to NCIby Pasteur. NCI scientists allegedly used the samples to ac-
quire information which allowed NCI to file patent applications for an AIDS
blood test kit.
The United States Claims Court dismissed the complaint by holding
that the Institut Pasteur had not complied with certain administrative proce-
dures required by the Contract Disputes Act before bringing its suit. The
United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed the decision
of the Claims Court by holding that the disputed contracts did not fit within
the scope of the Contract Disputes Act.
Soon after the Court of Appeals decision, President Reagan and Prime
Minister Chirac announced a settlement agreement whereby the lawsuit was
to be dropped, American and French scientists were to share credit for hav-
ing discovered the AIDS virus, and both parties to the suit were to share the
patent rights for the AIDS blood test kit. This settlement suggests that in-
ternational legal disputes involving urgent scientific and medical matters
may require dispute resolution techniques that serve as alternatives to na-
tional courts.
'Ph.D. (Political Science), New York University;J.D., Brooklyn Law School. The author
is an Assistant Corporation Counsel in the Special Litigation and Medical Malpractice Unit,
Tort Division, of the New York City Corporation Counsel's Office. This article does not nec-
essarily represent the views of that office or the City of New York.

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