The National Institutes of Health has increased the number ofoutside patent law firms under contract from four to 12 as itincreases its emphasis on protecting the government'sintellectual property rights and on marketing inventionsthrough its new Office of Technology Transfer.

This new direction was dramatically demonstrated in October,when the NIH announced plans to apply for patent protectionfor more than 300 partially sequenced cDNA fragments. Thelaw firms will provide services in the areas of biology,chemistry, mechanical/electrical engineering patentprosecution, specialized patent law services (includinglitigation), and licensing consultation, the NIH said.

Law firms and contract amounts for one year: Morgan &Finnegan (New York) $1,066,000; Townsend and Townsend(San Francisco) $972,000; Knobbe, Martens, Olson & Bear(Newport Beach, Calif.) $511,000; Foley & Lardner (Alexandria,Va.) $491,000; Lowe, Price, LeBlanc & Becker (Alexandria)$448,000; Needle & Rosenberg (Atlanta) $182,000; Birch,Stewart, Kolasch & Birch (Falls Church, Va.) $174,000; Cushman,Darby & Cushman (Washington) $171,000; Allegretti & WitcoffLtd. (Chicago) $170,000; Browdy and Neimark (Washington)$153,000; Leydig, Voit & Mayer (Chicago) $127,000; CalpatConsulting Inc. (Lafayette, Calif.) $11,000. -- Kris Herbst

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