Archive by category | Intellectual property

Europe says no to Thomson patent

Geron is unhappy that the European Patent Office has rejected claims of patents it has licensed from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation. The argument as I understand it is that the European Patent Office followed rules forbidding patents on inventions that involve the destruction of embryos. Geron argued that nowadays researchers don’t have to destroy embryos because they can get embryonic stem cell lines from a cell bank, but the EPO didn’t buy that. (But you can read the arguments for yourself at the EPO.) For Geron’s side, see the press release . WARF’s press release emphasized that the decision was based on laws peculiar to Europe and had no bearing in the US.  Read more

Patents on making iPS cells, and deriving cardiomyocytes from human ES cells

In a couple unrelated patent filings, Kyoto University has announced a patent for reprogramming differentiated cells to an embryonic stem-cell like state, and Geron announced that it has a patent on using cardiomyocytes created from human embryonic stem cells as medicines or drug-screening technology.  Read more

Fat patent stem cell wars

One way of knowing that a technology might have commercial applications is when the patent wars start. This week BioCentury reports that a North Carolina company called Artecel just won an exclusive right to a composition-of-matter patent covering stem cells derived from adipose tissue. According to some reports, stem cells in fat appear to be capable of differentiating into other tissue types. Cytori, a California-based stem cell company that no longer has rights to the patent, was developing the cells for heart disease and reconstructive surgeries. Artecel is less specific about its goals, saying the cells will be used for “soft tissue and cosmetics applications.”  … Read more

USPTO upholds other WARF stem-cell patents

News that the patent office has upheld the final two of three patents covering the derivation and use of embryonic stem cells held by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation. The topic generated more buzz when the first, and reportedly least important, patent was upheld. (See our blog.)  … Read more

One of the WARF patents on human embryonic stem cells upheld

The US patent office has upheld one of three patents on embryonic stem cells that had been challenged as overly broad. The patents are held by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, which has broad patent claims on the derivation, use and culture of human and primate embryonic stem cells. These have been challenged by researchers who say, among other things, that the patents unduly stall research and development. (See our an accounton these challenges by Jeanne Loring.)  … Read more