Patenting Stem Cells of Human Origin
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The author discusses the impact of the European Union's Directive for the legal protection of biotechnological inventions (Directive 98/44/EC of 6 July 1998. Specific attention is given to the absence from provisions of the mention of human stem cells, which generated significant ethical and legal debate in the UK, and globally, at that time. The paper considers the robustness of European patent provisions, and focusses on the potential consequences in the continuing debate of human stem cells.