Thursday, March 13, 2008

WARF Scores in Patent Struggle

WARF has chalked up a victory in the latest round in the stem cell patent wars, but challengers are vowing to continue the legal battle.

Here is a link to the story on Science Now. John M. Simpson, stem cell project director for the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, also sent along this response to the anonymous comment on the role of his organization.

"Anonymous is wrong. So far the challenge has narrowed the patent claims,
but more importantly prompted a substantial change in WARF's behavior. In January 2007 facing the patent re-examinations and surrounding publicity WARF substantially eased licensing requirements and became much more cooperative with the stem research community. They also 'clarified' that they would not seek a license from CIRM although the then general counsel, Elizabeth Donnelly, told The Stem Cell meeting sponsored by Steve Burrill & Co the previous spring that was the intention." Sphere: Related Content

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous1:50 AM

    The comment by the person saying “challengers are vowing to continue the legal battle” and John Simpson’s statement that “So far the challenge has narrowed the patent claims, but more importantly prompted a substantial change in WARF's behavior” indicates just how little they know about the re-examination process or the actual outcome of the re-examination.

    For any reader who wants an accurate analysis of the WARF re-examination, they should go to the discussion on the PatentDocs blog (

    The challenges by the Public Patent Foundation and Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights are over and done. As the PatentDocs blog states “Since neither PUBPAT nor FTCR are practicing the claimed invention, they have no standing to ask a District Court for a declaratory judgment of invalidity, and such a judgment should only be harder to obtain in view of the results of these re-examinations.”

    The claims were not “narrowed” as stated by Mr. Simpson. There is not one ESC that was blocked by the original claim set, that is now unblocked. The claims are in fact stronger because they have undergone an extensive examination and an “infringer” will have a harder time saying the claims are invalid. Any doubt that the claims are invalid has been eliminated by the re-examination.

    WARF is a big organization which supports itself through licensing of patents. If Mr. Simpson or anyone else in California thinks WARF is going to sit back and let Stem Cell companies practice their patent without paying for a license, they are dreaming.

    Therefore, the true overcome of Mr. Simpson’s challenge is to make WARF’s patents stronger and more valuable. This will cost California’s stem cell companies millions of dollars in the long run.