Thursday, September 14, 2006

Feds Could Take Up WARF Stem Cell Patent Dispute Next Month

The U.S. Patent Office could announce some time next month its decision on whether to step into the multimillion dollar WARF stem cell patent controversy.

Writer Joe Vanden Plas of the Wisconsin Technology Network indicated that was the likely timetable in an article that also quoted WARF as saying it expects the Patent Office to review the challenge to the patents by the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights of Santa Monica, Ca. However, the issue is not likely to settled for several years.

WARF's hold on stem cell patents has troubled some in the business for years. The California foundation filed its challenge after WARF said it wanted to charge the California stem cell agency for use of its patents because the state expected to generate royalties. At stake are potentially millions of dollars in royalties not only in California but throughout the nation.

Vanden Plas said that the Public Patent Foundation (which represents the California foundation) challenged the WARF patent on the basis of "what it said was unseen 'art' or evidence that the previous work of other scientists made the derivation of human embryonic stem cells obvious and therefore unpatentable."

Vanden Plas' article also briefly discussed the agreement reached between WiCell, an arm of WARF, and Advanced Cell Technology of Alameda, Ca., to disribute new stem cell lines involving ACT's new technique.

1 comment:

  1. An analysis of the anticipation argument used by PubPat may be found
    at IPBiz.

    Any idea that this was "unseen" art is purely delusional. The prior art (US '065) did NOT describe the making of hESC. It did suggest that, once one had hESC, that LIF could be used to keep them from differentiating. Since that time, it has been learned that LIF works differently between mouse stem cells (the subject of the '065 patent) and human stem cells, a fact not discussed in the challenge by PubPat to the WARF patents. Any idea that the '065 is enabled as to making hESC is as wrong as saying the University of Rochester patent enabled (or described) COX-2 inhibitors.

    Separately, the statements of Dartmouth's Green [above] as to ACT are almost as trickily worded as the ACT/Nature press releases. Quit while you're not too far behind.