Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Badger-Herald on WARF's stem cell patents

The Badger-Herald reports of FTCR and PubPat on the WARF patent re-exams:

The three embryonic stem-cell patents were challenged last July by the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights [FTCR] and the Public Patent Foundation [PubPat].

John Simpson, stem-cell project director of FTCR in Santa Monica, Calif., said he thinks the patents are inappropriate and should not have been issued to WARF in the first place when James Thomson was touted as the first to isolate human embryonic stem cells back in 1998.

“I can’t decide what motivates them,” Simpson said of WARF. “An invention has to be new, useful and non-obvious to people in the field. Based on work before or prior art, we cited several examples of prior art and the examiners agreed with us.”

Cohn said this challenge is the first of its kind in the 80-year history of WARF.

Dan Ravicher, executive director of the PUBPAT in New York City called the patents “undeserved” Monday and “un-American,” contending they restrict freedoms on science.

“There is substantial evidence there is embryonic stem-cell research, … persons and money driven offshore to protect these patents,” Ravicher said.

Of Simpson's comment --we cited several examples of prior art and the examiners agreed with us--, one notes that US patents are presumptively enabled but can be shown to be not enabled. Here, neither Williams nor Hogan isolated or maintained human embryonic stem cells. Are these references enabled as to human embryonic stem cells? See First Office Action rejects claims of WARF's patents and of the Hogan reference see "The Deal" gets the WARF patent re-exam wrong

Of Ravicher's --restrict freedoms on science--, one notes that 35 271(e)(1) protects research done for meeting federal requirements, which for embryonic stem cells covers a lot of ground.


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