In granting Tanox Inc. clear rights to one of its two most advanced proprietary compounds, a U.S. federal court judge last week provided an object lesson to would-be partners and their lawyers about sloppy contract writing.

Marilyn Hall Patel, chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, last week issued a summary judgement in favor of TNOX (Houston, Texas) in a suit brought by Genentech Inc. (DNA, South San Francisco, Calif.) and Novartis AG (NVS; SWX:NOVN, Basel, Switzerland).