- Associated Press - Thursday, July 16, 2015

SAN DIEGO (AP) - A judge denied the University of Southern California’s request for a restraining order against the University of California, San Diego, seeking to stop UCSD from accessing an Alzheimer’s database amid a lawsuit involving a prominent researcher.

Superior Court Judge Judith F. Hayes ruled Wednesday that UC San Diego has been legally accessing data in an Amazon cloud account that it owns, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported (http://bit.ly/1M6PDTE ).

Amazon recently restored the university’s access to data from the $100 million Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study, which the school has operated since 1991.

“There is nothing surprising about the fact that UCSD was able to persuade Amazon to restore access,” Hayes said, noting UC San Diego paid $96,000 for the cloud services.

USC’s request was the latest skirmish in a lawsuit prompted when Alzheimer’s researcher Paul Aisen and eight of his colleagues left the San Diego school last month to head USC’s Alzheimer’s research institute.

Following Aisen’s resignation, UCSD sued USC, claiming it conspired to hijack federal funding, data and employees. The San Diego school also said Aisen and his staff changed computer passwords to deprive the campus of accessing the study.

The newspaper said the judge’s ruling casts doubt on USC’s claim that it became legal custodian of the data in June when it hired Aisen.

USC has denied any wrongdoing and said recruitment of prestigious scientists is routine among universities.

Hayes is also considering a UC San Diego request for a temporary restraining order against USC that would prohibit the Los Angeles school from changing any of the data or computers involved in the program. Hayes is expected to review that request on July 24.

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Information from: The San Diego Union-Tribune, http://www.utsandiego.com

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