Baker Institute discussion will examine the debate on patenting embryonic stem cells

first_imgShareCONTACT: Franz BrotzenPHONE: 713-348-6775E-MAIL: [email protected] Baker Institute discussion will examine the debate on patenting embryonic stem cells “Patenting Science: The Implications of the Embryonic Stem Cell Patent Battle” will be discussed Feb. 21 at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy. The event begins at 6 p.m.Charles Reed, a partner at Kile Goekjian Reed & McManus, PLLC, will lead the discussion in the Kelly International Conference Facility, with additional remarks by Richard Behringer, deputy chair of the Department of Molecular Genetics at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.The method for isolating human embryonic stem cells was pioneered at the University of Wisconsin by James Thomson in 1998. Since then, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) has obtained three patents on both the techniques and the cells themselves. Because of these patents, anyone desiring to perform research involving the cells or techniques must pay licensing fees, and if any marketable products are developed, royalties would also be required.Although the WARF has waived licensing fees for university-affiliated researchers, there is a hesitation in the scientific community toward initiating stem cell research projects that could eventually cross legal boundaries. In 2007, the U.S Patent and Trademark Office revoked the patents. This ruling is still being challenged by WARF in the U.S. federal court system, and the impact of their ruling greatly affects embryonic stem cell research in the United States as well as across the world.The Feb. 21 event is sponsored by the Baker Institute’s Science and Technology Policy Program.  It is the first discussion in the International Stem Cell Policy Program, newly endowed by the State of Qatar and the Emir of Qatar, His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani.  For more information, visit The event will be held at Baker Hall on the Rice University campus. For directions, go to” alt=”last_img” /> read more