GEN mentions possible withdrawal of patent applications in STAP controversy
This measures, which encompass both principals in the scandal as well as their supervisors, and which even try to discipline those no longer under RIKEN’s authority, may not be the very end of the stem cell scandal. According to a RIKEN representative cited in Science, patent applications pertaining to the STAP technique may be withdrawn, and research funds accepted by RIKEN may be returned to the Japanese government. RIKEN, which has already announced reorganization plans in the scandal’s wake, may countenance additional administrative changes to curb scientific misconduct.
- Teruhiko Wakayama, a former RIKEN scientist who co-authored the STAP papers, is joining Obokata in receiving a dismissal equivalent. He is also losing his status as a visiting professor at RIKEN. Wakayama had accepted a position at the University of Yamanishi before the papers were published.
article: < a href="http://www.genengnews.com/gen-news-highlights/riken-punishes-researchers-complicit-in-stem-cell-scandal/81250919/">RIKEN Punishes Researchers Complicit in Stem Cell Scandal
Roku Goda wrote in the Asahi Shimbun on 10 Feb. 2015:
The institute that funded supposedly groundbreaking work by stem cell scientist Haruko Obokata said it is weighing legal action against her for irregularities that disproved her research. Obokata was lead author of articles on stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency cells, known as STAP cells, that created a buzz around the world but were subsequently retracted.
Riken said it may also demand that Obokata return the research funds she used, including 15 million yen ($125,000) for follow-up verification experiments, as well as sums provided to allow her to write her articles that were published in Nature.
Riken officials said specifics of the planned criminal complaint will be decided within one to two months.
**The previous IPBiz post
RIKEN investigation confirms Obokata paper on stem cells in Nature used doctored figures
From a Bloomberg article
Co-authors Teruhiko Wakayama at University of Yamanashi and Yoshiki Sasai at Riken bear “heavy responsibility” for allowing the papers to be submitted to the journal Nature without verifying the accuracy of the data, the committee concluded.
**A December 28, 2014 post on IPBiz noted:
Further to the IPBiz post RIKEN investigation confirms Obokata paper on stem cells in Nature used doctored figures, Scientific American has re-posted an article from Nature titled
Scientist Resigns as Stem-Cell Creation Method Is Discredited.
This December 22 article notes that Haruko Obokata resigned from RIKEN. It also states: " A few weeks later [after the retraction in July], one of the paper’s co-authors, Yoshiki Sasai, took his own life. "
**As to patent applications, note PCT/US2013/037996 , with inventors Charles A. Vacanti, Martin P. Vacanti, Koji Kojima, Haruko OBOKATA, Teruhiko Wakayama, Yoshiki Sasai, Masayuki Yamato, .
The first four claims of PCT '996 state:
From within the specification:
Described herein are methods of generating or producing pluripotent cells de novo, from, e.g., differentiated or adult cells. The methods described herein can further relate to increasing the pluripotency of a cell (or, e.g. decreasing the maturity of a cell), e.g. causing a multipotent cell to become pluripotent. Aspects of the technology described herein which relate to the production of pluripotent cells are based upon the inventors' recognition that environmental stresses can induce a cell to assume a more pluripotent phenotype.
 In one aspect, described herein is a method to generate a pluripotent cell, comprising subjecting a cell to a stress.
Separately, note the post on PatentlyO on 11 Feb. 2015: http://patentlyo.com/patent/2015/02/duty-disclosure-inquiry.html: USPTO Policy is that “no patent will be granted on an application in connection with which fraud on the Office was practiced or attempted or the duty of disclosure was violated through bad faith or intentional misconduct.” 37 C.F.R. 1.56.