This Comment highlights the recent federal funding setbacks in the biotechnology industry and considers the resulting challenges to future research collaboration. After providing a historical background to stem cell technology, Mr. Fleis examines the passionately opposed public responses to the technology's use of embryos and to its future applications. Fleis continues by noting past legislative initiatives that have accelerated the ease of patenting biotechnology and research findings in general. The Comment addresses several possible solutions to the tension between limited government funding and continued stem cell research, such as the adoption of a more relaxed experimental use standard. Stem cell research can continue in non-federally funded areas through private grants, although this process requires burdensome record keeping ensuring no federal funds touch the research. The author proposes a restructuring of either the patent statute or of applicable Patent and Trademark Office regulations to heighten the presently low utility standard as a resolution to the stem cell research setback.
Patrick J. Fleis,
Stemming the Stem Cell Setback,
7 Marq. Intellectual Property L. Rev. 205
Available at: http://scholarship.law.marquette.edu/iplr/vol7/iss1/6