Statutory guidance

Inventions involving human embryonic stem cells: 27 June 2014 (archived version)

This page provides information on the patenting of inventions involving human embryonic stem cells.

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Archived version: please note this version is no longer current practice see updated version.

On 18 October 2011 the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) delivered its judgment in case C-34/10, where it ruled on the interpretation of Article 6(2)(c) of European Directive 98/44/EC (“the Directive”) on the patentability of biotechnological inventions. This Article excludes from patentability uses of human embryos for industrial or commercial purposes.

The Directive has been implemented into UK law by virtue of amendments to the Patents Act 1977. Paragraph 3(d) of Schedule A2 to that Act corresponds to Article 6(2)(c) of the Directive. Any interpretation of the Directive by the CJEU is therefore binding on the UK.

Published 27 June 2014