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Recent Developments in the 'Stem Cell Century': Implications for Embryo Research, Egg Donor Compensation, and Stem Cell Patents

Russell B. Korobkin

UCLA School of Law

UCLA School of Law Research Paper No. 08-21

Last fall, I published the book Stem Cell Century: Law and Policy for a Breakthrough Technology, which analyzes a range of complicated legal issues that arise from stem cell technology: from the regulation of embryonic stem cell research and therapeutic cloning, to whether intellectual property rights in stem cells should be granted and, if so, who should profit, to whether we should permit tissues needed for important biomedical research to be bought and sold, to how the FDA and the tort system should regulate stem cell-based treatments likely to be developed in the future. In this field, neither science nor law stand still for long. This article discusses and analyzes three important developments that have taken place in the six months since Stem Cell Century's publication: the development by research of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) that behave like embryonic stem cells but are not created by destroying embryos; the creation of cloned blastocysts by a California biotech company; and three decisions by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office upholding the validity of patents on embryonic stem cell lines in a reexamination procceding. These developments have important implications for three policy disputes concerning stem cell research: the appropriateness of embryo research, whether compensation of egg donors should be permitted, and whether human embryonic stem cell lines ought to be patentable.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 27

Keywords: stem cells, cloning, patents, embryos, egg donation, patents, nonobviousness, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, Public Patent Foundation, Stemagen

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Date posted: June 12, 2008 ; Last revised: November 6, 2012

Suggested Citation

Korobkin, Russell B., Recent Developments in the 'Stem Cell Century': Implications for Embryo Research, Egg Donor Compensation, and Stem Cell Patents. UCLA School of Law Research Paper No. 08-21. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1143523 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1143523

Contact Information

Russell B. Korobkin (Contact Author)
UCLA School of Law ( email )
385 Charles E. Young Dr. East
Room 1242
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1476
United States
310-825-1994 (Phone)
310-206-7010 (Fax)
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