July 08, 2013

International Stem Cell Corporation v. Comptroller General of Patents

Meaning of term "human embryos" in Article 6(2)(c) Biotech Directive



On April 17, 2013, the UK High Court in the case International Stem Cell Corporation v. Comptroller General of Patents decided to refer the following question to the Court of Justice of the European Union:

"Are unfertilised human ova whose division and further development have been stimulated by parthenogenesis, and which, in contrast to fertilised ova, contain only pluripotent cells and are incapable of developing into human beings, included in the term "human embryos" in Article 6(2)(c) of Directive 98/44/EC on the legal protection of biotechnological inventions?"

Please find the judgment here.

A helpful review of the decision by Joanna Applequist, associate at Awapatent, can be found here.

The reference to the CJEU has been assigned case number C-364/13 (no information available yet).