Friday, November 28, 2008

Geron comments on EPO/EBA decision on stem cell patent application

Geron reported in a press release:

The EPO decision upholds the rejection of WARF's claims as being impermissible under a rule of the European Patent Convention that prohibits the patenting of inventions which concern "the uses of human embryos for industrial or commercial purposes". The Enlarged Board of Appeals emphasised that when the priority patent application was filed in 1995 the only method of obtaining hESCs, as described in the application, required the use of a human embryo; however after Thomson's discovery many hESC lines became available through stem cell banks, removing the need for researchers to culture the cells from embryonic material.

This decision should not therefore affect patent applications for hESC technologies developed afterwards, including technologies developed by Geron that allow scalable manufacture of hESCs for therapeutic and drug discovery applications and their differentiation into different functional cell types.

Geron's portfolio of patents covering hESC technologies includes 34 issued US patents, 15 issued UK patents and about 60 issued in other countries, in addition to 220 applications pending.

Geron is saying that there are other applications in the pipeline that will past muster under the points made by the EPO/EBA on Nov. 27, 2008.

See also:

EPO/EBA say no to WARF on stem cell patent application


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