The Mainichi Daily News reported that Kyoto University and then Professor Shinya Yamanaka obtained a Japanese patent for a method of creating induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. As to claim scope, Kazuhiro Matsuda, a professor in Kyoto University's Law School, was quoted:
"It includes all types of animals. Under normal circumstances, we would interpret it as including humans."
In the United States, one worries not only about the scope of the claim, but also about whether or not a broad claim scope is enabled.
The Daily News also reported: Pharmaceutical company Bayer Yakuhin has also succeeded in producing iPS cells, and it's believed that it has also applied for a patent on the production of human iPS cells.
Although the californiastemcellreport didn't report on the iPS patent, they are worried about the nomenclature of CIRM lacking the words "stem cells": The difficulty with both expressions is that neither says stem cell research. If, hypothetically, iPS took off, one would not be worrying too much about human SCNT or whether or not a funding body's name included "stem cell research."
[In passing, some of the difficulties of CIRM's intellectual property policy are appearing in a thread at the patent hawk blog.]