Re: Yet another IP argument

From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Sun Aug 13 2000 - 13:43:47 MDT

Loree Thomas wrote:
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Michael S. Lorrey" <>
> >
> > Its pretty well standard, perhaps some of the lawyers like Greg can
> > contribute.
> Maybe, but this is a very minor side issue... I wouldn't expect much.
> > I know of a case,
> Michael! First a hypothetical situation with a flawed conclusion, then a
> sweeping generalized argument from authority and now anecdotal evidence?
> I could play battling anecdotes with you, but it wouldn't prove anything.
> You still haven't actually answered my first two objections.
> A) You are responsible for your own actions.
> B) Do the research if you are going to make an "argument from authority".
> It's a weak argument in any case... but you don't get to make stuff up.
> That isn't how reasoned discourse works.

OK here are some cases:
State ex rel Graham v. Cherry, No.
 M1999-01623-COA-R3-CV (Tennessee Court of Appeals, July 19,
2000): Upon the determination of paternity, the father of a child
born out of wedlock is statutorily liable for support from and after
the child's birth. Further, the juvenile court has the discretion to
order a retroactive support award back to that date, the amount
and method of payment to be determined by the juvenile judge in
light of the circumstances of the case and consistent with the
standards which normally govern the issuance of child support
orders. T.C.A. 36-2-108(d). The father's liability is not
retroactive only to the date on which he knew for certain that he
was the child's father.

And what should make this an open and shut issue, read the following
The lesson one must take from S.F. v. T.M., however, is somewhat
troubling: a man is strictly liable for where his sperm ends up even
when he unknowingly and involuntarily engages in a
sexual act. Instead of comparing the father's predicament with the
mother's predicament in Division of Child Support Enforcement ex
rel. Esther M. v. Mary L., No. 94-33812 (1994.DE.19031), where a
mother was relieved of her child support obligation because she
was raped, the court imposed a child support obligation because of
the fact of paternity. This can only be termed a strict liability
theory of sperm.

On the other hand, taking the example of artificial insemination, we see
that so long as the strictures of the UNIFORM STATUS OF CHILDREN OF

which still says this about the parental status of consenting donors:
<<Present statutory law is split concerning the parental status of sperm
donors. Fifteen states have statutes, patterned after Section 5(b) of
the Uniform Parentage Act,
specifying that a donor will not be considered the father of a child
born of artificial insemination if the semen was provided to a licensed
physician for use in artificial
insemination of a married woman other than the donor's wife. Fifteen
other statutes do not explicitly limit nonparenthood to situations where
the semen is provided to
a physician. Instead, they shield donors from parenthood in all
situations where a married woman is artificially inseminated with her
husband's consent. >> (i.e. if the husband does not give his consent (or
rescinds his consent any time in the two years following the act of
insemination) then the donor, known or anonymous, is considered a

This is definitely a very grey area, however once cloning becomes
popular, I think that there will be some more definitive case law about
this particular issue, as women take the hair from a persons brush and
clones them without knowledge or consent...


Mike Lorrey

"In the end more than they wanted freedom, they wanted security. When the Athenians finally wanted not to give to society but for society to give to them, when the freedom they wished for was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free." --- Edward Gibbon (1737-1794)

"A person who wants a society that is both safe and free, wants what never has been, and what never will be." --- Thomas Jefferson

"It's a Republic, if you can keep it..." --- Benjamin Franklin

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