Title: CJEU Stem Cell Patents: Brüstle v⁣ Greenpeace (C-34/10)


The case of Brüstle v Greenpeace (C-34/10) before ​the Court ​of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) brought to light the complex legal issues surrounding stem cell patents. Stem cell research offers immense potential for medical advancements,‌ but ⁤the⁤ ethical implications of patenting these technologies have sparked heated debates.​ In ‍this article, we will explore the key details of the Brüstle⁣ v Greenpeace case and ⁢its implications on stem cell‌ patents in the EU.

The Brüstle v Greenpeace Case

In 1997, Oliver ‍Brüstle, a German scientist, filed a patent application for a method involving the production of neural precursor cells from human ​embryonic stem cells. The patent was granted by the European⁣ Patent Office (EPO),⁤ but it was challenged by Greenpeace, an environmental organization, on ethical grounds. Greenpeace argued that the patent violated European patent law, which prohibits the patenting of inventions that involve the use ​of human embryos.

The case finally reached the ​CJEU, which had to determine whether the term "human embryo" included unfertilized human ova whose‍ division and differentiation may be stimulated by parthenogenesis. The CJEU ruled that any human ovum must have the inherent capacity of developing into a human being to be considered a human​ embryo. ‍Since an unfertilized ovum cannot develop into a human being without additional intervention, the court held ⁢that it did not fall under the definition of a human embryo.

Implications of the CJEU Ruling

The CJEU’s ruling in the Brüstle v Greenpeace case ⁢clarified the definition of a human embryo in the context of stem cell research and patents. This decision had significant implications for the biotechnology industry​ and research institutions in the EU. Some of‌ the ⁤key implications include:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *