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Harvard oncomouse unpatentable: Supreme Court delivers on longawaited ruling on patentability of higher life forms

January-28-2003

Area Intellectual Property

Summary


In a 5:4 majority ruling delivered on December 5, 2002, the Supreme Court of Canada held that higher life forms are not patentable under Canada's Patent Act. This determination means that, while the process of manipulating genes to create a mouse carrying the cancer gene, as well as the fertilized oncomouse egg, remain patentable, the resulting mouse falls outside the protection of the Patent Act.

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