Gov. Doyle: Statement on Preliminary Decision by U.S. Patent Office on Stem Cells

Contact: Carla Vigue, Office of the Governor, 608-261-2162

Governor Jim Doyle today made the following statement regarding the recent decision by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to preliminarily reject three Wisconsin-held stem cell patents:

“Wisconsin has long been recognized as the pioneer in stem cell research, with world-leading scientists making important breakthroughs since 1998. It’s important to remember that the Patent Office’s decision is only preliminary, and the patents will remain in effect while the appeal process goes forward. Based on my many conversations with experts in the field over the past few years, I am confident that these patents will ultimately be upheld.

“There is no question that Wisconsin is and will remain at the forefront of stem cell research for many years to come. While other states are desperate to catch up with us, we will continue to expand on our leadership by building one of the world’s premier research facilities – the Institutes for Discovery. In addition, Wisconsin currently has three other unchallenged stem cell patents, and our scientists have made discoveries that have lead to about 30 additional patent applications. As long as I am Governor, the state will aggressively invest in, support and nurture this research. Together, we can be the state that unlocks the cures to some of humanity’s oldest and deadliest diseases, while creating tens of thousands of new jobs for our citizens.”