Sunday, May 11, 2014

An Enlightening Conversation

Of course you may use my reply in any manner you think suitable and I sent a 'Cliff Notes' summary under a separate eMail header:
1.  The PROCESS to clone an organism is patentable.
2.  The RESULT of the process (Dolly the Sheep) is NOT patentable.
Pardon my simplistic summary of a complex case!
-Kim, 11 May 2014
-----Original Message-----
From: Arthur Gershman <>
To: k50047 <>
Sent: Sun, May 11, 2014 8:26 am
Subject: Re: Kosher Goldfish News Flash

Dear Kim,
Thank you.
It occurs to me that others might have the same questions.
I would ask your permission to post this email correspondence on my blog No To Gene Patents.
I so, please  let me know.
Best regards,
On May 11, 2014, at 8:09 AM, wrote:

Thank-You Arthur,
You set forth the issues and explained the underlying arguments very clearly - obviously, I did not realize that the cell line (biological material) of Dolly 'lives on' in the commercial (and presumably research) sectors and, now knowing that fact, I see the potential for commercial gain.
Finally, the issue of the rights of non profits under the AIA law, is, as you pointed out, a complexity with broader consequences beyond the instant issue of the cell 'line' of Dolly, the departed but not forgotten sheep!
Thanks again.
-Kim, 11 May 2014
-----Original Message-----
From: Arthur Gershman <>
To: k50047 <>
Sent: Sun, May 11, 2014 7:21 am
Subject: Re: Kosher Goldfish News Flash

Hi Kin,
Regarding nuclear transfer, I urge you to read the decision, which explains the biology in very clear terms and far better than I could.
In answer to your question, you have fallen into the same trap as the relatives of Henrietta Lacks.
They mistook her cell line for her actual living presence.  A whole book was written about it and it is on my reading list.  People tell me it's a great read.
Now on to the second part of my answer. This particular case (Dolly). is a procedural issue, whether a nom-profit can sue in a post-grant proceeding.  A post-grant proceeding was an animal created under the AIA, the America Invents Act, signed into law September 16, 2011.  Kinks are being worked out by the courts.
Now on to the third part of my answer.  The underlying issue in this case is whether embryonic stem cells can be patented.  If the courts find that non-profits cannot sue under the AIA then this issue will not be resolved and the patent will prevent others from making, using, selling, or importing the embryonic stem sell line of Dolly.  This may not be the end of the issue, however, because some money making enterprise who wold be harmed in a monetary sense could still sue to have Dolly, or some other embryonic stem cell line patent declared invalid.
I hope I have clearly answered your question on this complicated matter at the intersection of cutting edge biotechnology and IP law.
Please don't hesitate to ask me any questions.

On May 9, 2014, at 7:48 PM, wrote:

Dolly has passed over the Rainbow Bridge to that Great Meadow in the Sky.
Wikipedia notes:
Dolly (5 July 1996 – 14 February 2003) was a female domestic sheep, and the first mammal to be cloned from an adult somatic cell, using the process of nuclear transfer.[2][3] She was cloned by Ian WilmutKeith Campbell and colleagues at the Roslin Institute, part of the University of Edinburgh, and the biotechnology company PPL Therapeutics near Edinburgh in Scotland, the United Kingdom. The funding for Dolly's cloning was provided by PPL Therapeutics and the Ministry of Agriculture.[4] She was born on 5 July 1996 and died from a progressive lung disease 5 months before her seventh birthday.[1] She has been called "the world's most famous sheep" by sources including BBC News and Scientific American.[5][6]
The cell used as the donor for the cloning of Dolly was taken from a mammary gland, and the production of a healthy clone therefore proved that a cell taken from a specific part of the body could recreate a whole individual. On Dolly's name, Wilmut stated "Dolly is derived from a mammary gland cell and we couldn't think of a more impressive pair of glands than Dolly Parton's".[1]
So, since Dolly the Cloned Sheep is no more, how can she be patented?
-  I assume the process "nuclear transfer" (the nuclear obviously referring to the nucleus of the cell) could be or has already been patented, so what is at issue in the current patent decision - some remnant of Dolly in a petri dish was to be patented?
Just curious.
-Kim, 09 May 2014
-----Original Message-----
From: Arthur Gershman <>
To: Undisclosed recipients: ;
Sent: Fri, May 9, 2014 2:48 pm
Subject: Kosher Goldfish News Flash

News Flash

Dolly, the Cloned Sheep, was held patent ineligible by the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Kosher Goldfish

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