UK patents will no longer be granted by the Intellectual Property Office if they result from a process involving the destruction of human embryos. That is according to a statement from the Intellectual Property Office, the body which awards or refuses the grant of UK applications for patents, trade marks and other registered intellectual property. The IPO guidance can be found here: http://www.ipo.gov.uk/pro-types/pro-patent/p-law/p-pn/p-pn-stemcells-20120517.htm.
Paul Gershlick, a Partner at Matthew Arnold & Baldwin LLP, comments: “This guidance is no surprise given a court ruling last year by the European Court of Justice last year involving Brüstle v Greenpeace. That decision resulted from a narrow interpretation of an extremely complex European Union law and in my opinion only serves to damage the pharmaceutical industry in the EU, stifle innovation and reduce the potential benefits for new treatments by people who suffer with certain medical conditions.”
The Brüstle v Greenpeace ruling can be found here: http://curia.europa.eu/juris/celex.jsf?celex=62010CJ0034&lang1=en&type=NOT&ancre.