Friday, June 02, 2006

WARF ready to defend its stem cell patents

If anyone thinks WARF will cave on its stem cell patents, look here.

WARF may not want litigation until there is a successful product: "The only way that there will be a court challenge," Andy Cohn of WARF said, "is if somebody has a successful product in the marketplace. The only time that a court challenge would come is when there is money on the table, and we have no idea when that will happen."
IPBiz notes that this may be an implicit acknowledgement of the law of 35 USC 271(e)(1), as interpreted in Merck v. Integra.

Some have taken issue with the manner in which WARF distributes the cells, and with the fees it charges for their use - $500 to academic researchers and, depending on company size, graduated fees of up to $125,000 to private labs, plus an annual maintenance fee that can reach $40,000. Thus far, WARF has distributed stem cells to 350 academic researchers, and has entered into license agreements with 12 private research labs.

WARF presented some comments from John Simpson, the stem cell project director for the Santa Monica-based Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights: In a subsequent interview, Simpson acknowledged that he is not an attorney, but as a lay person he feels the concept of a patent on all embryonic human stem cells seems overly broad. "I can understand a methods patent, which would patent the technique for deriving the embryonic stem cells, and perhaps the particular cells or line that was derived using that method," he said. "But if they are derived in a different way, I don't see how they can assert that claim."

IPBiz notes that, if that is an accurate quote of Simpson, Simpson is wrong on the law of composition of matter patents.


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