Tuesday, March 11, 2008

US Upholds 2 More Stem Cell Patents

good article


US Upholds 2 More Stem Cell Patents
By RYAN J. FOLEY - 5 hours ago
MADISON, Wis. (AP) - The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has upheld a second and a third University of Wisconsin-Madison patent covering embryonic stem cell research at the school.
In rulings made public Tuesday, Federal examiners confirmed two patents for scientist James Thomson's work on isolating embryonic stem cells of primates and humans. The patent office last month upheld another patent stemming from the work, but that ruling can be appealed.
Thomson in the 1990s became the first researcher to isolate the embryonic stem cells of primates and humans, which have great medical potential because they can turn into any type of cell in the body.
Two consumer groups and some scientists had said Thomson's work was obvious, given previous research on animals, and therefore ineligible to be patented. The examiners rejected that argument in the latest rulings, which cannot be appealed.
All three of the patents - issued in 1995, 1998 and 2001 - are held by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, a nonprofit that manages the university's patents.
The rulings mean the foundation will continue to control primary intellectual property rights to embryonic stem cell research in the United States. If that research leads to successful medical products or procedures before the patents expire in 2015, the school could win royalties.
The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights and the Public Patent Foundation, which asked the patent office to throw out the patents in 2006, argued that their enforcement slowed U.S. stem cell research and drove some investment overseas.
The foundation agreed last year to waive some fees to encourage more industry-sponsored research and allow researchers to share their cells for free.
The foundation's stem cell affiliate has shipped cells to more than 560 researchers around the world since 1999. A vial of 6 million stem cells now costs about $500 for academic researchers.

1 comment:

Courtney said...

Drew, I haven't been on here in a while, and I'm sorry for that. I hope my mom told you I said Happy Birthday on your birthday.. and by the way remember I turned 18 on February 9th =) haha, well I really hope your doing well, body and mind.. and i was wondering how the girl Haley is? I just had a friend pass away in an accident in January I can say I know how her friends and family are feeling, although she has hope. Im glad i took the time to read about her, and everything with you. Ill keep you both in my prayers and can keep you both in our prayers at school as well.