Stem cell patent dispute: Wisc. fights back

In the fallout from a linkurl:major decision;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/home/53051/ by the US patent agency to reject key stem cell patents for embryonic linkurl:stem cell research;http://audio.wnyc.org/bl/bl010507d.mp3 held by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle has taken to the airwaves to defend the state's intellectual property. In a linkurl:statement;http://www.wisgov.state.wi.us/journal_media_detail.asp?

By | April 4, 2007

In the fallout from a linkurl:major decision;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/home/53051/ by the US patent agency to reject key stem cell patents for embryonic linkurl:stem cell research;http://audio.wnyc.org/bl/bl010507d.mp3 held by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle has taken to the airwaves to defend the state's intellectual property. In a linkurl:statement;http://www.wisgov.state.wi.us/journal_media_detail.asp?locid=19&prid=2583 released yesterday (April 3), the governor reminded the public that the decision is only "preliminary," and the patents remain valid while the university goes through the appeal process. "Based on my many conversations with experts in the field over the past few years, I am confident that these patents will ultimately be upheld," Doyle said. WARF Managing Director Carl Gulbrandsen appears equally confident, if not more so, that the patents will prevail. When groups linkurl:first challenged;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/25037/ the patents, he called their case "ludicrous" in an interview with The Scientist. In a statement released by WARF following this week's decision, Gulbrandsen said it was "inconceivable" that the research performed by Wisconsin biologist James Thomson was not worthy of a patent. Financially, WARF has fared quite well -- in 2005-2006, the organization linkurl:funded;http://www.warf.org/about/index.jsp?cid=27&scid=36 $65 million worth of research at the University of Wisconsin. You can share your thoughts about WARF's odds of reversing the US Patent and Trademark Office's decision here.

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