MOORE V. REGENTS OF UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
California. Court of Appeal. Second Appellate District. Division 4
CALIFORNIA REPORTER 249: 494-540
In 1976, John Moore had his spleen removed in the course of treatment for hairy cell leukemia at the UCLA Medical Center. Subsequently, a cell line was developed from Moore's tissues that offered enormous therapeutic value. Doctors applied for patents on the cell line and entered into contracts for its commercial exploitation. Moore claimed the modified tissue to be his own property and sued to recover deserved profits. The trial court dismissed Moore's case because it failed to set forth a proper claim at law. The appellate court reversed, interpreting the claim to be adequate for recovery. The court held that the removed tissue was Moore's property; that consent forms signed by Moore only applied to the removal of tissue and did not imply his consent to its commercial exploitation; and that Moore need not allege either the defendent's knowledge of the cells' value, or of the defendant's intent to exploit the cells, in order to assert his claim.
Date of Decision: 21 July 1988
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Moore v. Regents of the University of California: Now That the California Supreme Court Has Spoken, What Has It Really Said? Appelbaum, Benjamin (1992-03)