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.

Media Releases

Michelle Swenarchuk (October 30, 1948 - February 27, 2008)
Environmentalists Applaud Supreme Court Decision that Animals Cannot be Patented
The Harvard Oncomouse Case
Oncomouse Decision Coming from the Supreme Court, Thursday, December 5, 2002
CELA Urges Feds to Appeal Oncomouse Decision to the Supreme Court
Is Life Patentable? Precedent Setting Harvard Mouse Case in Court Thursday