News & Events

News & Events

Home › News & Events › 2011 › Research › Kyoto University granted its first iPS cell patent by the United States Patent and Trademark Office


August 12, 2011

Kyoto University granted its first iPS cell patent by the United States Patent and Trademark Office

Kyoto, Japan, Aug. 11 - Kyoto University announced today that it was granted its first patent associated with induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology, by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

With the allowance for the U.S. patent application number 12/086, 479, Kyoto University has been granted patent rights associated with iPSC technology in six nations and two regions - Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, the U.S., Eurasia and Europe. The European Patent Office granted a patent on May 30.

These patents are based upon the iPSC technology invented by Shinya Yamanaka, director of the Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA), Kyoto University. His research team announced that it generated iPSCs in 2006 by introducing four genes - Oct4, Klf4, Sox2 and c-Myc - into somatic cells, the first report of its kind in the world.

The U.S. patent covers combinations of nuclear reprogramming family factors comprising an Oct family gene, a Klf family gene, and Myc family gene, or an Oct family gene, a Klf family gene and a cytokine. This means that if companies use a combination of the nuclear reprogramming genes and generate iPSCs, regardless of the kinds of vectors, they need to get the patent license.

During a press conference held at Kyoto University today, Yamanaka said the U.S. patent for his fundamental iPSC technology will encourage many companies to enter the research area.

"iPSC technology has huge potential to develop new drugs and cell therapy, and I would like to make these promises actually take place. Toward the goal, the U.S. patent grant will further enhance iPSC research and development in the U.S.," said Yamanaka.

Kyoto University filed a patent application on Yamanaka's invention at the World Intellectual Property Office in 2006, and received its first patent from the Japan Patent Office in 2008, followed by another two patents granted in Japan in 2009. On May 30, the European Patent Office gave approval to a patent right similar to the U.S. one. On Aug. 5, the university received a Notice of Allowance from the USTPO for the patent application about the nuclear reprogramming factor.

"I am proud that the patent on the iPS cell technology invented by Professor Shinya Yamanaka was granted by the USPTO,"said Kyoto University President Hiroshi Matsumoto. "Kyoto University will continue to advance iPS cell research as the leading institute in the world and have an advantage in terms of patents protecting iPSC technologies."

go top