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January 08, 2014

Kyoto University obtains new fundamental patent for iPS cell technology in Japan

The research group of Prof. Shinya Yamanaka, director of CiRA, was the world's first to establish induced pluripotent stem cells or iPS cells, while Kyoto University has been contributing as the proper assignee of those inventions and managing the corresponding patent applications regarding iPS cell technology. A new patent relating to iPS cell basic technology was recently granted in Japan (JP application no.: 2009-056749). 

Yamanaka's research work has already led to the establishment of five fundamental patents in the area of iPS cell technology in Japan. Overseas, patents have been established in the United States, Europe, Hong Kong, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Singapore, Israel, South Africa, and Eurasia. 

With the new Japanese patent application, unlike in previous applications, the genes used to  generate the iPS cells is not specified, and the scope of the patent claim therefore includes a broader coverage of iPS cell generation methods. This in turn means that Kyoto University now holds more firmly established patent rights over iPS cell technology in Japan. 

Kyoto University has filed an International Patent Application for iPS cell basic technology (international application no.: PCT/JP2006/324881, international publication no.: WO2007/69666, international filing date: December 6, 2006) and entered such patent application into the national phase in Japan (JP application no. : 2007-550210, hereinafter parent application) so far, and six divisional patent applications were made from the parent application. This time, a notice of allowance was issued to grant the patent regarding one of these divisional patent applications (JP application no.: 2009-056749) on November 12, 2013, and the registration fee was accordingly paid on December 11. The patent application will be registered with the Japan Patent Office one to two weeks after the date of payment of the registration fee. 

With the aim of realizing the medical applications for iPS cell technology at the earliest stage possible, Kyoto University is committed to continuing efforts to spread iPS cell technology and to promote related research.
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