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EU Court: No Patents For Some Stem Cell Techniques

Publication Date: 
October 18, 2011
Newsday (AP)
Maria Cheng

Professor Hank Greely was interviewed by Newsday's Maria Cheng to provide his feedback on the European Union's top court decision to not allow patents for stem cell research that uses human embryos.

The European Union's top court ruled Tuesday that scientists cannot patent stem cell techniques that use human embryos for research, a decision some scientists said could threaten major medical advances if it prevents biotech companies from turning a profit.

The ruling sets Europe apart from much of the rest of the world, where there are no such restrictions, and it arose from a lawsuit filed not by a religious group but by the environmental group Greenpeace.


Hank Greely, a law professor at Stanford University who directs the school's Center for Law and the Biosciences, said the decision seems like a reasonable interpretation of a 1998 directive by the European Union that forbids patenting the use of human embryos for industrial or commercial purposes.