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PTO Rejects Claims On Stem Cell Patents

Law360 (April 3, 2007, 12:00 AM EDT) -- Claims on three patents covering human embryonic stem calls have been rejected by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office following challenges by consumer advocates that said the patents stymied scientific progress and drove vital research overseas.

Examiners ruled the method used by University of Wisconsin scientist Dr. James Thomson in 1998 to isolate the stem cell lines was obvious in light of previous research and therefore unpatentable.

The patents, which are owned by the university-affiliated Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation were re-examined at the behest of a...
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