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Lawyers look for ways to dodge stem-cell patent ruling from Court of Justice

Patent attorneys in Europe are gearing up to find loopholes in a ruling by the European Court of Justice that prevents the patenting of embryonic-stem-cell technologies.

The Luxembourg-based court ruled on 18 October that therapies necessitating the destruction of a human embryo at any stage are not patentable. This is based on European biotech laws that state embryos should not be used for industrial or commercial purposes. The ruling is binding for national courts in all 27 member states and leaves all existing patents in the field open to challenge.

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