The EPO have recently updated their Internal Guidance to Examiners regarding the patentability of inventions relating to the use of human embryonic stem cells. There has been and will be, however, no formal announcement. Subtle media releases are not new, of course. Tech giant Google® is well known for ‘soft’ launch of its products: there is no fanfare heralding release of its latest app, it just arrives and news gets around; you pick it up on social media or second hand from your 11-year old child.
Enlightened by this tech vernacular the EPO stem cell practice change has just happened and the news is gently disseminating: a new, morally acceptable source of human embryonic stem cells has now been identified, and can be referred to in patent applications relating to this subject matter with an effective filing date on or after 5 June 2003 to avoid an objection of lack of morality under Art 53(a) EPC.
In case C-364/13 the CJEU have decided that human parthenotes are not “human embryos” because they are incapable of commencing the process of development into a human being. Therefore parthenotes are a legitimate source of human embryonic stem cells for use in patentable technologies.Read more
MORALLY ACCEPTABLE SOURCES OF HUMAN EMBRYONIC STEM CELLS (hESCs): EMBRYOS THAT NEVER WERE, OR COULD NEVER BE. The Advocate General’s Opinion in C 364/13, if followed, improves the position for pioneering inventions based on hESCs in Europe...Read more
It is now a little over a year since the decision of the CJEU was handed down in the case of Brüstle v. Greenpeace e.V. (C-34/10)1. This decision was a disappointment to many in the legal and scientific communities because of its apparent restriction on the scope of patentable inventions in the human ...Read more
NO END TO THE WAITING? On 11th April 2013 the European Brüstle patent (EP 1040185) was revoked, but the EPO did so without considering morality issues; sadly, therefore, we are no closer to resolving the patentability of human stem cell inventions in Europe. As the EPO has not gone beyond...Read more
The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has issued its much anticipated ruling in the case of Brüstle v. Greenpeace e.V. (C-34/10). Ever since, a rash of hastily written stories has appeared in the news trumpeting the death of stem cell patents, lamenting their passing and predicting the destruction...Read more
A plea to the CJ NOT to follow the Opinion (article as originally published in in the April 2011 issue of the CIPA Journal) | The background and the Opinion explained ...Read more
If the filing date of your application falls after human ES cell lines are accepted as being publicly available then there seems no need to disclaim any subject matter in claims directed at or using human ES cells or human pluripotent stem cells. Any reference in the description to use of human embryos must...Read more
G02/06 - the decision re patentablity of human embryonic stem cells in europe - The WARF decision is out: the Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBA) has held that the WARF invention required, at the time of filing, destruction of an embryo. Whatever the claims covered, this inevitable embryo destruction meant the application had to be refused...Read more
Comment on and prediction of the decision re patentablity of human embronic stem cells in europe. Following the EPO hearing on 24th June 2008, we now wait for the key biotech patentability decision in case G 02/06 before the EPO’s Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBA). It’s an important one. And it’s about time. The decision is said to be due out before the EPO summer holidays...Read more
The Appeal Proceedings are over, and the patent has been maintained in amended form - in the same form as approved during the opposition proceedings in 2003.The patent was granted in 2001 and alleged by many to relate, intentionally or otherwise, to human cloning. This latter concern was rapidly...Read more