Christopher Scott, CJ Murdoch and I recently published a paper exploring the emerging landscape of induced pluripotent patents in Nature Biotechnology. Induced pluripotent stem cells do not raise the same ethical issues as human embryonic stem cells, as they do not require the use of human embryos.
When induced pluripotent stem cells burst onto the scene in 2007, they brought along with them a new approach to stem cell research. The field has moved along at a blistering pace, and this is reflected in the international patent landscape. Dozens of applications have been filed internationally, and in the past two years, the first three patents including claims to this technology have issued in Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. In our paper, we briefly examine the potential scope of the three issued patents.