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  • Writer's pictureKirk Hartley

EU Rejects Patents on Embryonic Stem cells

Here is good news for current and future victims of dread diseases and injuries – the EU has rejected patents on embryonic stem cells. The full story is in this post on Patent Docs. Here’s the introduction:

"The European Court of Justice (ECJ) today rendered its decision regarding the patent-eligibility of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) in Europe, and as widely expected has heeded the recommendation of the court’s advocate general that hESCs are not patent-eligible subject matter (see"European Court of Justice Considers Embryonic Stem Cell Ban").

The case began in 2004, when Greenpeace sued in German federal court over a German patent to the University of Bonn involving methods for deriving neural cells from hESCs (DE 197568664 C1). While German laws regarding stem cell research have been characterized as the "most restrictive in Europe," such research is permitted provided that it is performed with pluripotent (rather than totipotent) cells, using cell lines imported from abroad and only cell lines that were made prior to May 2007. Nevertheless, Greenpeace argued that claims to methods for using hESCs were "immoral and against public order," provisions of European law generally that define subject matter not eligible for patent (there is no corresponding provision under U.S. law)."


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