Friday, August 29, 2014

EFF re-visits Hwang Woo Suk; perhaps an award for stupid comment of the month?

In an August 28, 2014 post, Magical Drug Wins EFF’s Stupid Patent of the Month
, EFF obliquely mentions the patent to Wang Woo Suk
from February 2014:

frankly, we wonder whether the examiner even read the application. In a similar case, the Patent Office issued a patent to an applicant whose work was widely known to be fraudulent. (The purported inventor had even spent time in jail for the fraud.) As Professor James Grimmelmann observed at the time: “The USPTO is an armory handing out legal howitzers on the honor system. What could possibly go wrong?”

Recall the IPBiz post
US 8,647,872, titled Human embryonic stem cell line prepared by nuclear transfer of a human somatic cell into an enucleated human oocyte
which included

The claim requires that the embryonic cell line be derived from the cell line deposited under accession number KCLRF-BP-00092. A cell line not so derived does not fall within the literal scope of claim 1.

As such, Grimmelmann's remark about howitzers is incredibly stupid in the context of US 8,647,872. If the work is fraudulent, it would be impossible to infringe the claims to a non-existent cell line.

[Grimmelmann is currently at the University of Maryland and holds a J.D. from Yale.]

See also the IPBiz post

Woo Suk Hwang revisited? Mouse Stem Cell Researcher Wakayama retraction of papers from 'Nature'


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