Thursday, July 05, 2007

More bad reporting in stem cell area: Somers does it again

Continuing a streak of bad reporting, Terri Somers of the San Diego Union-Tribune started a July 3 piece:

Four internationally recognized stem cell researchers are supporting a challenge to the embryonic stem cell patents held by the University of Wisconsin.

In fact, the declarations of the four researchers were submitted only as to ONE patent of Thomson / WARF (US 7,029,913) and have nothing to do with the other patents.

Somers continued:

The declarations are part of a legal challenge previously filed by two taxpayer advocacy groups against the Wisconsin patents. In April, the patent office issued a preliminary ruling rejecting the patents, but the university is exercising its right to appeal.

The USPTO issued first Office Actions in the re-exam of the three patents, AND WARF made responses to these first Office Actions, as is routinely done in re-examinations. WARF did not exercise its right to appeal. There is no appeal to be made, because the USPTO has not yet issued a decision in the re-exam. At the moment, these patents are IN FORCE.

As a minor point, the entity that submitted and signed the requests for the re-examination, an attorney for PubPat, is not usually considered to be a "taxpayer advocacy group." The Public Patent Foundation (PubPat) asserts that it is representing the public's interest in the patent system. The U.S. patent system is funded by fees, not by taxpayers. The two entities PubPat and FTCR might be considered consumer groups.

See also

Californiastemcellreport, while not noting the errors in Somers' reporting, did state: Terri Somers of the San Diego Union-Tribune noted this case is a long way from being resolved and could wind up in court following the patent challenge.


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