Courtesy of Charles River Laboratory

Interpretations of the recent Canadian Supreme Court ruling denying Harvard University's OncoMouse patent protection in Canada depends on which side of the patent the interpreter is on. Harvard, in a statement, said the institution would appeal to the Canadian Parliament and predicted that the inability to get protection for genetically engineered mammals will hold back scientific research. Some bench scientists disagreed.

"We do the experiments we want to do and often results that are of intellectual property [IP] value come from them. But we don't start out with the intention of trying to generate IP. We're rather trying to answer basic science questions," said Roderick McInnes, scientific director of the Institute of Genetics at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the country's main federal research agency.

The country has seen an explosion of research using genetically engineered animals, McInnes says. "There are large, very successful...

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