U.S. House Passes Ban on Human-Organism Patents

Law360, New York (December 8, 2003, 12:00 AM EST) -- The U.S. House of Representatives Monday approved 242-176 a provision that would prohibit the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office from issuing patents on human organisms, including cloned human embryos.

The provision, authored by Florida Republican Dave Weldon, was part of a massive, "omnibus" spending bill to wrap up the unfinished budget work. The bill was made necessary because Congress, notably the Senate, failed to take final action on seven individual pieces of legislation to fund federal agencies and programs.

The 242-176 vote split Democrats and Republicans,...
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