Cloning patent claim rejected

Spat over rights to one technique settled, but many more remain.

Peg Brickley(pegbrickley@hotmail.com)
Mar 24, 2003

Infigen Inc. last week lost a bid to upset patents held by Advanced Cell Technology (ACT) for use of "proliferating somatic cells for the cloning of non-human animals." Infigen waited too long — more than a year — to press its claim against ACT, a three-judge panel of the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences of the US Patent and Trademark Office ruled March 18, leaving the lives of researchers only slightly less complicated than before.

Working amid a welter of claims and cross-claims over cloning techniques, scientists are continuing to genetically engineer animals to produce biotherapeutics and organs for transplant to humans, as well as animals for research and food purposes. The dispute between Infigen of DeForest, Wis., and ACT, of Worcester, Mass., centered on pig cloning efforts.

"We keep moving forward, and we think we're protected," said Randall S. Prather, the University of Missouri-Columbia professor of reproductive...

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