HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — The woman who admitted shooting six coworkers at the University of Alabama in Huntsville could receive royalties from the university for an invention that’s expected to start generating revenue soon.
Amy Bishop and her husband, Jim Anderson, invented a cell incubator that has been developed for sale by InQ Biosciences of Huntsville. UAH owns the patent, but Bishop and Anderson are in line for part of the royalties.
UAH spokesman Ray Garner told The Huntsville Times that it’s too soon to know if the university will be writing checks to Bishop and Anderson because they are being sued by some of the victims and their families.
Attorneys said that if the victims win those suits, they could go after any assets the couple has, including income from the invention.
Dick Reeves, an InQ Biosciences director and its former chairman, said the first cell incubator will be delivered to a paying customer next month. It is expected to retail at about $50,000 per unit, he said. Bishop and her husband developed the unit while she was working at UAH. UAH gave InQ the opportunity to develop the product, but the terms of the agreement have not been disclosed.
The university’s standard patent agreement provides for inventors to get 70 percent of the first $50,000 and 40 percent thereafter, the newspaper reported.
Reeves said Anderson does not have a role in the product’s development by the company.
Bishop, 47, pulled a gun from her purse and opened fire at a faculty meeting on Feb. 12, 2010. Three people were killed and three were wound.
Bishop pleaded guilty Sept. 11 to one count of capital murder involving two or more people and three counts of attempted murder. Prosecutors agreed to recommend a sentence of life without parole for the capital charge, and three life sentences for the attempted murder charges. Sentencing will follow a brief trial on Sept. 24 before Madison County Circuit Judge Alan Mann.
Bishop is also charged with killing her brother in Massachusetts in 1986. The shooting of 18-year-old Seth Bishop had been ruled an accident after Amy Bishop told police she shot him in the family’s Braintree home as she was trying to unload her father’s gun. The Alabama slayings led to a new investigation and charges.