European Patent Office OKs Mouse Patent With Restrictions

Law360 (July 6, 2004, 12:00 AM EDT) -- The European Patent Office has upheld a Harvard University patent on a mouse genetically altered to develop cancer.

However, the office restricted its wording so that it applies only to mice and not to all species of rodents.

Using the patented technique, scientists can alter a gene in rodents and make them more likely to develop tumors. The mice are used to test whether a material might contain carcinogens.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted a patent to Harvard’s “oncomouse” in 1988, the first "transgenic"...
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