Life Patents - The Oncomouse Case
The road to the Supreme Court to determine whether life can be patented in Canada
CELA represented itself and six public interest organizations in an intervention before the Federal Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada on this precedent-setting case. The question before the courts was the legal status of a patent decision on the "oncomouse," a genetically altered mouse used for cancer research. The Commissioner of Patents and the Federal Court Trial Division denied Harvard University's application for the patent. The Federal Court of Appeal then reversed this decision. On appeal by the federal government to the Supreme Court of Canada, Canada's highest court ruled that higher lifeforms cannot be patented in Canada
Below are court submissions, publications, media releases and newsletter articles written by CELA counsel chronicling the path to the Supreme Court of Canada decision to deny a patent on the oncomouse.