*New 18 June 2012*: The EU ban on embryonic stem cell patents is legally flawed, argues a paper and public lecture by Aurora Plomer, Chair of Law and Bioethics at the University of Sheffield, UK. Find out more.
June 2011: Lately there have been several cases on the patentability of inventions related to human embryonic stem cells (hESC) in Europe. Now the first case has reached the European Court of Justice (ECJ), the highest European court, whose decision will be binding for all EU member states.
The judgement of the ECJ is still outstanding. However, the Advocate General Yves Bot offered his opinion on the case, which points towards a complete prohibition of patents for inventions relating to hESC. While the court does not have to follow the opinion, it does so in a majority of the cases.