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Recent Patents on Nanotechnology


ISSN (Print): 1872-2105
ISSN (Online): 2212-4020

Trends in the Human Embryonic Stem Cell Patent Field

Author(s): Ulrika Karlsson, Johan Hyllner and Kristina Runeberg

Volume 1, Issue 3, 2007

Page: [233 - 237] Pages: 5

DOI: 10.2174/187221007782360475

Price: $65


The successful derivation of human embryonic stem (hES) cell lines in late 1990s marks the birth of a new era in biomedical research. In the USA, this landmark invention is protected by granted composition-of-matter patents. In addition to these patents, several others have been granted on further development of hES cell research, such as on differentiated cell types and in vitro and in vivo use aspects. In Europe, there is presently no consensus pertaining to the patentability of hES cells, and all patent applications pending at the European patent office are therefore awaiting a principal decision by the Enlarged Board of Appeal. The authors argue that it will be of importance to the stem cell industry that patents are granted on inventions downstream in the value chain, e.g on specialised cell types derived from hES cells and different drug discovery applications. Patents and patent applications on such inventions for the three germ layers ectoderm/neuro, endoderm/hepato and mesoderm/cardio have been examined. The number of patents increased in the period 2001 to 2006 for all three lineages with ectoderm/neuro as the most patent intensive field. There where 9-13 times more US patent applications filed related to the three lineages compared to in Europe.

Keywords: human embryonic stem cell, Cardio non-hES, European Patent Office, Patent application, hematopoietic differentiation

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