Note regarding Codon Devices, Inc.
Codon Devices, Inc. (aka Codon) is a venture funded startup company based in Cambridge, MA that is working to develop cheap, rapid, and accurate long-fragment DNA synthesis technology and, eventually, commercialize a diverse set of second-generation biological technologies. My support for, and involvement with, Codon is based on a personal desire to see that chemical synthesis of long-fragment DNA becomes (i) possible and (ii) a broadly and cheaply available technology that is deployed responsibly to the benefit of our environment and health.
I believe that two essential factors, required for the successful and responsible development of future biotechnology are (i) that such work take place in the open (i.e., with full disclosure, sharing, and free rights-to-reuse of genetic information), and (ii) that many individuals work together to ensure the constructive and cooperative development of biological technology.
To help make sure that (i) and (ii) happen, I am also working with many others to start The BioBricks Foundation (a not-for-profit organization, being started now, whose mission is to foster and support the development of open biotechnology). Also, in case of financial success, I am committing any and all compensation received, or to be received, from my involvement with Codon Devices, Inc. to a philanthropic trust that will be used in support of charitable activities (e.g., the BBF).
Endy 22:31, 29 May 2005 (EDT)
A recent patent application published that names me as an inventor. This was a surprise to me (thanks to Jason Kelly for bring the publication to my attention). Here is the published application:
WO 2007/087347 A3R4, METHODS, SYSTEMS, AND APPARATUS FOR FACILITATING THE DESIGN OF MOLECULAR CONSTRUCTS
Some quick specific comments on what I have been able to learn, and then more general thoughts: first, the published Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) application is based on a provisional application that listed me as an inventor. Second, when the provisional was converted, an updated application and a revised claim set were produced. An inventorship analysis for the revised claim set determined that I was not an inventor. Third, the revisions to the claims and my removal as a named inventor is not yet reflected in the published PCT application. Revised claims and an amended coversheet should publish at some point. I am waiting to hear back when this will happen. More generally, I have never signed anything declaring inventorship with any company or with MIT. As a graduate student, I once signed off on an invention disclosure involving evolutionary resistant drug dosing strategies, but the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation decided to not take the filing forward, IIRC. This recent experience reinforces for me the need to consider my various responsibilities are compatible going forward. The top priority for me is the BBF and what the BBF is doing in terms of open technical standards and an legal scheme for BioBrick parts.
Endy 18:01, 7 December 2007 (CST)