Financial update to stem cell patent debate: California vs Wisconsin?

The story of the first human embryonic stem cell’s patent (isolated by Thomson) at Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) tariffscontinues. The amount of money behind stem cell patens became visible thanks to David Wahlberg’s exploration in today’s Wisconsin State Journal: The stem-cell patents have brought $3.2 million in license fees to WARF. About 75 percent of the money is funneled back to stem-cell research on campus. … WARF’s patents, which cover both the cells and the methods to grow them, are being challenged by the Los Angeles-based Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer rights. The foundation, involved in California’s new $3 billion stem-cell research initiative, is being joined in the effort by the New York-based Public Patent Foundation. Thomson said the challengers are attacking WARF’s patents because they want California to profit from future patents on discoveries made through its stem-cell research initiative. The initiative is run by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, or CIRM. “The only real difference is that the CIRM-funded patents will largely benefit California, and the WARF patents largely benefit Wisconsin,” he said. Link

Is it the only difference?

Table: tariffs of the first human embryonic stem cell line.


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