Stem cell research continues to face more hurdles in the United States. Limited funding and embryonic stem cells are only the beginning. According to research done by Ebersole, Esmond, and Schwartzman (2006), intellectual property rights are another problem faced by stem cell researchers. As new techniques and technology are developed, researchers and/or research organizations in order to claim and protect their advancements will obtain patents. This paper will examine the article written by Ebersole et al., which examines stem cell research and patents as well as the research presented.
According to Ebersole et al. (2006), stem cell research is vital to the development of new treatments for a number of diseases. While patents provide incentives for researchers and companies to develop new processes and technology, they will also create roadblocks in stem cell research. Intellectual property laws legally protect patents. In order to use a patented process or equipment, researchers will have to obtain licenses, which could be very costly (Ebersole et al., 2006). For example, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is asking for $100,000 up front and $25,000 annually for non-government and non-academic organizations to license WARF's patented processes (Ebersole et al., 2006). According to Ebersole et al. (2006), more than 1,400 patents have been obtained in relation to stem cell research. Therefore, unless researchers obtain licenses for these processes, researchers cannot used any patented process while conducted their own stem cell research. However, Ebersole et al. do offer resolution to the patent problem facing stem cell research, patent pools. Patent pools are arrangements "in which two or more patent owners agree to license certain of their patents to one another and/or third parties'" (Ebersole et al., 2006).
Research, Problems and Purpose
The research conducted by... [continues]
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