Friday, July 18, 2008

WARF Whacked Again

The latest chapter in the WARF stem cell patent saga opened today with the filing of an appeal by two consumer groups and a statement from California researcher Jeanne Loring of the Scripps Institute. She said,
"It's not just scientists that are affected by the patents. Patients and their families know that WARF’s iron-fisted control of stem cells is slowing life-saving research."
Consumer Watchdog of Santa Monica, Ca., and the Public Patent Foundation in New York City announced the filing of the appeal. The issue is not likely to be resolved for years, although John M. Simpson of Consumer Watchdog said WARF has already relaxed its licensing requirements in the wake of the patent challenge.

Simpson said,
"WARF executives were acting like arrogant bullies blinded by dollar signs. Our challenge has engendered a more co-operative stance towards the stem cell research community on their part."
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2 comments:

  1. In the interest of a more complete discussion, please note that the "notice of appeal" pertains ONLY to the third WARF patent, US 7,029,913. There is no challenge on appeal to the other two.

    The USPTO had determined that the prior art relied upon by FTCR ("ConsumerWatchdog") was not enabled and the declarations of the four scientists were conclusionary. The outcome, on appeal, of such a weak case is foreseeable.

    There is a bit of a "house divided" component to the argument that WARF does not have corresponding patents outside the U.S. If people OUTSIDE of the U.S. are NOT impeded by patents, why has NO ONE been able to do the SCNT work falsely claimed by Hwang in 2005? What is slowing the life-saving research outside the US?

    Separately, ConsumerWatchdog and Loring are silent as to "why" the EPO (for example) has not granted the WARF application.

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  2. Anonymous7:19 PM

    LifeNews wrote of ConsumerWatchdog and PubPat:

    The consumer groups argue the patenting has driven some scientists overseas because they can't profit from any follow-up work. That say the patents have done more to damage stem cell research in the United States than any lack of state or federal government funding.

    Again, if stem cell scientists are free to practice (and profit from) their work outside the US, one might expect all kinds of advances outside the US. This does not seem to be the case.

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