The Lessons Stem Cells Provide Vis-à-Vis Patents: Working Towards an International/Universal Patent Regime.


Charles F. Hall


Biotechnology research has much to promise human society. Beyond the obvious benefits of being able to clone rare animal species or potentially to revitalize extinct species , there are many practical applications that are beneficial to human society directly. Rare blood types might be created from specialized stem cells. The tragedies of Christopher Reeve and others like him who have suffered paralysis from spinal cord trauma may be reversible by using stem cells to replenish damaged and severed nerve cells in the spinal column. The dire shortage of organs for those needing transplants can be reduced by creating an organ designed specifically from the patient’s stem cells in a lab setting to guarantee acceptance by the patient’s body. Israeli scientists several years ago have already coaxed stem cells into pulsating like a heartbeat. The day is very near when badly needed organs will seemingly be created from wholecloth to replace dying or diseased ones.

If the potential is so great with stem cell research, then what is all the opposition and controversy for? There are many factors. If one thinks about how


Comparative and Foreign Law | Intellectual Property Law | International Law

Date of this Version

June 2004