Monday, September 19, 2011

Ban on human embryos patents becomes law

National Right to Life Committee reports that legislation which bans the patenting of human embryos was enacted into law as part of the "America Invents Act" (H.R. 1249).
Early in the year, when it became clear that Congress was likely to take up a sweeping revision of the patent laws, NRLC insisted on inclusion of language to codify (make permanent) a previously enacted temporary prohibition on any patents being issued on human embryos.....

The key language, as it appears in Section 33 of the enacted measure, reads as follows: "Notwithstanding any other provision of this title, no patent may issue on a claim directed to or encompassing a human organism."
NRLC fought hard for the Weldon language, arguing that it was one necessary bulwark against the plans of some biotechnology organizations to create an industry based on the creation and manipulation of human embryos. NRLC and other backers of the Weldon language cited statements by some researchers that they wanted to patent and market human embryos with certain genetic profiles as "models" for studying certain diseases.