By David Wahlberg
The federal government has upheld two more UW-Madison stem-cell patents, meaning all three patents under contention can stand.
But expected appeals on one of the patents could linger for years. And the government review caused the university to narrow some patent claims and loosen its licensing policies, the patent challengers say.
The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, UW-Madison 's tech-transfer organization, holds the patents, based on work by campus stem-cell pioneer James Thomson. The patents essentially cover all human embryonic stem-cell research in the country.
WARF, which has earned more than $3.2 million from patents, stands to gain many millions more. Scientists are using the cells to better understand and develop possible treatments for diabetes, Parkinson 's disease and other conditions.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office 's decision to uphold the two patents, announced Tuesday, was made last week. The patent office upheld the third patent last month.
"This is a home run, " said Carl Gulbrandsen, managing director of WARF. "I said from the beginning that we feel they were patentable inventions and that we would ultimately prevail. "