Stem-Cell Patent Case Appealed

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Two groups said Friday that they have appealed the federal government’s decision to uphold a stem-cell patent held by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation.

Consumer Watchdog, of Santa Monica, Calif., and the New York-based Public Patent Foundation filed the appeal with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

In 2006, a challenge by the groups to three of WARF’s stem-cell patents triggered a review by the patent office. This year, the patent office upheld each of the patents, with minor changes. The decision on two of the patents is final but the third one can be appealed.

In the appeal, the challengers said the patent office made two legal errors in upholding the patent. The errors involve applying standards that are too high when considering whether the stem-cell research was worthy of a patent, the groups said.

The patent is based on research by UW-Madison scientist James Thomson.

If the challengers are unsuccessful in the appeal, they have vowed to take the matter to federal court.

Consumer Watchdog
Consumer Watchdog
Providing an effective voice for American consumers in an era when special interests dominate public discourse, government and politics. Non-partisan.

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