The agency agreed that "substantial questions" exist involving the patents.
Reporter Andrew Pollack of the New York Times wrote:
"Re-examinations brought about by a third party, as this one was, result in all the patent claims being canceled 12 percent of the time, said Brigid Quinn, a spokeswoman for the patent office. In another 59 percent of cases, smaller changes are made. Ms. Quinn said the patent office receives 400 to 500 requests for re-examinations each year and grants 90 percent of them.Reporter Kathleen Gallagher of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel quoted John M. Simpson of the Foundation of Taxpayer and Consumers Rights of Santa Monica, Ca., one of the two nonprofit groups challenging the patents, as saying his organization was not motivated by regional jealousy. Gallagher wrote:
"The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, or WARF, a patent licensing organization affiliated with the university, provides academic researchers with free licenses and charges them $500 for cells. Companies are charged $75,000 to $400,000, depending on their size and the terms of the license. One company, the Geron Corporation, has exclusive commercial rights to heart, nerve and pancreatic cells derived from the embryonic stem cells."
"'If California had these patents with these claims, we'd be trying to challenge them,' said Simpson, who was born in Madison and whose mother worked in a research lab on the UW-Madison campus."Here are links to other news stories and press releases: The AP(which appeared overseas), Terri Somers of the San Diego Union Tribune, Jim Downing of The Sacramento Bee, Bernadette Tansey of the San Francisco Chronicle, David Wahlberg of the Wisconsin State Journal, Rob Waters of Bloomberg, Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights press release.