Timeline: Proprietary Challenges in Stem Cell Research

Proprietary Challenges in Stem Cell Research–Timeline [view pdf here]

June 1980: US Supreme Court decides Diamond v. Chakrabarty, establishing that living material is patentable (in this case, a genetically engineered oil-eating bacteria developed by Dr. Chakrabarty)

December 1980: US Congress enacts Bayh-Dole Act, allowing universities to patent inventions developed using federal funds

November 1998: James Thomson and John Gearhart independently report the derivation of human pluripotent stem cells

December 1998: US issues WARF patent US 5843780 for primate ES cells*

March 2001: US issues WARF patent US 6200806 for primate ES cells*

August 2001: US president Bush limits federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research

November 2004: California approves Proposition 71, authorizing $3 billion in funding for stem cell research, and creating the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM)

April 2006: US issues WARF patent US 7029913 for primate ES cells*

November 2007: Thomson and Yamanaka independently report the derivation of iPS cells from adult human somatic tissue

September 2008: Japan issues Yamanaka patent JP 2008283972 for iPS cells

November 2008: EPO denies WARF patent equivalent to US 5843780 for primate ES cells, citing morality clause exception

March 2009: US president Obama expands federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research

January 2010: UK issues Sakurada patent GB 2450603 for iPS cells (Sakurada worked for an affiliate of Bayer Schering Pharma. iPierian (a US company) acquired rights to the patent claims in 2008)

March 2010: US issues Jaenisch patent US 07682828 for iPS cells

April 2010: Canada issues WARF patent equivalent to US 5843780 for primate ES cells

April 2010: US revokes WARF patent US 7029913 on the grounds of obviousness, due to prior work in mouse

August 2010: US Federal Judge, Royce Lamberth, issues an injunction halting the expansion of US federally-funded hESC research under an executive order from President Obama as a violation of the Dickey-Wicker Amendment.

September 2010: US Federal Appeals Court lifts the temporary injunction banning expanded US federal funding of hESC research while litigation on the issues continues (and a US Federal Appeals Panel affirms their decision).

*See Table 1 for more information on these patents

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