. . .and blocked again

Late in March, US District Court (Washington, DC) Judge Royce Lamberth suspended an agreement between Diversa (San Diego, CA) and Yellowstone National Park (Yellowstone Park, WY) that allowed the company to bioprospect in exchange for royalties on resulting products. This partnership was formalized in a Cooperative R&D Agreement (CRADA) that was ratified in August 1997 (Nature Biotechnol. 16, 312, 1998). In March 1998, members from several public interest groups, including the International Center for Technology Assessment (Washington, DC), the Edmonds Institute (Edmonds, WA), and the Alliance for Wild Rockies (Missoula, MT), filed a lawsuit challenging the CRADA, claiming that the agreement violates the Federal Technology Transfer Act, as well as the intent of the National Park Service Organic Act for Technology Assessment (Washington, DC), which ensures that the park's biodiversity is preserved. Now, Judge Lamberth, noting that the CRADA is "precedent-setting" and "will entail a significant amount of collection throughout...the Park," is ordering federal officials at Yellowstone and the Interior Department (Washington, DC) to evaluate the broad implications of this CRADA. One outcome could be no bioprospecting; another might be opening up to nonexclusive arrangements. Diversa CEO Jay Short says the company will comply voluntarily with the terms of the CRADA and continue to pay Yellowstone while the review is under way.

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Fox, J. . . .and blocked again. Nat Biotechnol 17, 411 (1999). https://doi.org/10.1038/8554

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