Sunday, May 16, 2010

University of Miami Plagiarism Case, Revisiting the Dastar case precedent: The Lanham Act Does Not Create a Cause of Action for Plagiarism.

Andela v. Univ. of Miami, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20432, 45-47 (S.D. Fla. Mar. 8, 2010)

Plaintiff Valentine B. Andela sued his former employer University of Miami and also University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill based on actions arising out of alleged plagiarism of post-doctoral research manuscripts. Andela brought these actions pro se. Andela is a physician-scientist from Cameroon, Africa, whose area of study is translational cancer research and international technology transfer to Africa. Andela was employed by UM from June of 2005 to September 25, 2006, as a post-doctoral associate in the Viral Oncology program at UM's Sylvester Comprehensive Care Center (the "Sylvester Center"). Throughout his employment as a post-doctoral associate, Andela worked in the laboratory of Dr. William J. Harrington, Jr. Plaintiff Angela alleges that Harrington "passed off" the Revised Manuscript by submitting a "mutilated version of Dr. Andela's work to the journal Blood, listing Dr. Andela as the primary author without Dr. Andela's required approval, consent, and signature . . . ." Andela then alleged that UM and UNC "reverse passed off" the Revised Manuscript to Cancer Research by plagiarizing and submitting his work without his name attributed to the article and without regard to his request that they refrain from doing so. The According to the controlling decision in the Dastar case, Section 43 of the Lanham Act, does not apply to communicative products such as the Revised Manuscript. Accordingly, Andela's allegations failed to state a claim and were dismissed with prejudice.

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