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Stem cell research at center of lawsuit for public advocacy group

The case invokes the June 2013 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that isolated human genes cannot be patented

Stem cell research has historically been a controversial topic in modern science, provoking human rights activists to split sides, and now involving legal disparities among patent owners. Reports describe a new legal suit against the University of Wisconsin-Madison, which has a patent on stem cells derived from human embryos, has been brought on by the advocacy group Consumer Watchdog in what Consumer Watchdog claims is research that is too similar to earlier work and therefore undeserved to be owned by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation.

Part of the debate centers around the very incendiary core of the research into stem cells to begin with. The idea that naturally occurring material -- genetic material in this case -- can be patented doesn't sit right with some, and furthermore some say complicates research costs and hinders research altogether.

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Juliana Kenny

Juliana Kenny is a contributor to, covering a range of topics including patent litigation, conflict mineral laws, executive compensation, and antitrust regulation. Juliana earned B.A.s...

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