Monday, April 02, 2007

WARF Staying the Course on ESC Patents

WARF said today that it is confident that its ESC patents will ultimately be upheld despite rejection of its claims Friday by the U.S. Patent Office.

The organization released the following press release:
"With regard to the preliminary denial of the existing claims, WARF Managing Director Carl E. Gulbrandsen issued the following statement:

"'WARF has absolute confidence in the appropriateness and legitimacy of these patents. It is inconceivable to us that Dr. Thomson’s discovery, which Science Magazine heralded as one of the greatest scientific discoveries in history, would be found to not be worthy of a patent. This discovery captured the imagination of people all over the globe from every discipline.'

Gulbrandsen pointed out that the former director of the National Institutes of Health predicted the discovery would change the face of medicine.

"'We are confident that, when all of the facts are known and the process runs its course, our patents wil be upheld,' he said.

"The PTO granted the reexamination request and issued a preliminary ruling rejecting the patent claims in question, which is not at all unusual, according to Gulbrandsen, who pointed out that the patent reexamination process provides for multiple layers of review. This first rejection, for example, gives WARF the opportunity to respond directly to the examiner, a response in which WARF will vigorously defend its patent claims. That response could persuade the examiner to sustain the patents and terminate the reexaminations. If the examiner maintains the rejection, WARF could, and most probably would, appeal the examiner’s decision to the PTO Board of Patent Appeals. And, if that body fails to sustain the patents, WARF can then appeal to the courts.

"This process can take many months, or even years. But while the review is underway, all of WARF’s patents remain in place and are legally viable."
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