Wednesday, May 24, 2006

WARF to CIRM: Don't Mess With Us

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation has served notice that it is going to slug it out with the California stem cell agency on the matter of stem cell patents.

Referring to comments in California concerning WARF's position on the Wisconsin patents, Andrew Cohn, government and public relations manager for the organization, said, "These folks are absolutely going off the deep end. If it wasn't for WiCell and for the University of Wisconsin, they wouldn't have anything to spend the $3 billion on in the first place."

Cohn was quoted in a piece by Joe Vanden Plas on the Wisconsin Technology Network. Vanden Plas said the patent dispute between California and Wisconsin "promises to be an intense fight." Cohn's pugnacious language certainly seemed to confirm that. His rhetoric was definitely more aggressive than comments made by WARF General Counsel Elizabeth Donley earlier this year.

The Wisconsin article noted that WARF this month was awarded $1 million in a case against Xenon Pharmaceuticals. Cohn said, "WARF has proven over and over again that it will enforce its patents and its contracts. This company [Xenon] made a very, very bad tactical decision by trying to get out of, or trying to ignore the contract they made with us. They are now paying for it dearly."

The starting point for Vanden Plas' article was a statement by the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights of Santa Monica, Ca., that said a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision means that WARF has less power to assert "dubious patent claims to control all human embryonic stem cells in the United States." Sphere: Related Content

1 comment:

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