Bayer filed for stem cell patent before Kyoto Univ team
German chemical giant Bayer AG applied for a patent in Japan on June 15, 2007, for a technique to generate induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells, from human cells, according to Patent Office data released by Sunday. The application was submitted around three months before a Japanese team led by Kyoto University professor Shinya Yamanaka announced the successful generation of iPS cells from human cells.
The data showed that Bayer submitted patent applications for more than one method, in addition to the technique employed by the Kyoto University team. If the patents are granted to Bayer, patent rights will become complicated and could affect the Japanese government’s policy to promote iPS cell studies, observers said. In June 2006, the Kyoto University team said it succeeded in generating iPS cells, which have the potential to grow into any type of body tissue, from somatic cells in mice without using ova.
Summarized: Bayer files a patent for something they haven’t been able to accomplish > 3 months later Japan is able to do it > Bayer will get the benefits from Japanese work doing nothing. Way to go.