Tuesday, April 04, 2006

San Jose Mercury on WARF claim against CIRM: potentially irritating delay is emerging.

In an editorial on April 4, the San Jose Mercury criticizes the WARF claim against CIRM:

Just as the state appears on the verge of clearing the decks of a nettlesome oversight lawsuit and inching ever closer to dispersing research grants, yet another potentially irritating delay is emerging.


The Wisconsin foundation [WARF], which is affiliated with the University of Wisconsin, announced at the conference that it holds two patents with extraordinarily broad claims to the use of embryonic stem cells until the year 2015, and that it intends to enforce the patents.


It's one thing for WARF to seek to benefit from sharing the process that pioneering scientist James Thompson of the University of Wisconsin developed for deriving embryonic stem cells. But Wisconsin also has a patent for embryonic stem cells, themselves. Scientists should have as much claim to patent embryonic stem cells as they do to laying claims on laws of nature. Namely, zero.


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