Challenges to human embryonic stem cell patents.

A. Plomer, K.S. Taymor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


The patenting of human embryonic stem (hES) cells has produced one of the most unusual and fraught situations in the history of science, ethics, and law. This Commentary examines legal and moral challenges to three foundational patents held by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF). We conclude that, in the United States, technical challenges may, paradoxically, produce a stronger patent position for WARF. In the European Union, moral challenges mean confusion for member states. We demonstrate that hES cell intellectual property will be guided and bound by a welter of moral, technical, and legal inputs, with discrete national and jurisdictional dimensions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-17
Number of pages5
JournalCell Stem Cell
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan 2008


  • Biotechnology
  • Cloning, Organism
  • Embryo Research
  • Embryonic Stem Cells
  • Europe
  • Foundations
  • Humans
  • Intellectual Property
  • Patents as Topic
  • United States
  • Wisconsin


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