Media Release

Is Life Patentable? Precedent Setting Harvard Mouse Case in Court Thursday

Dec 07 1999

Ottawa. A Federal Court of Appeal case will be argued Thursday in Ottawa dealing with whether a patent ought to be granted to Harvard College for the "Oncomouse". Canadian Environmental Law Association is an Intervener in the case.Harvard was refused the patent on the mouse, genetically modified to develop cancer, by Canada's Patent Commissioner and by Federal Court Trial Division.The Federal Court of Appeal allowed CELA's intervention specifically to deal with the public interest perspective in interpretation of the Patent Act.CELA's intervention will deal with:

  • environmental hazards of life form patents;
  • equitable distribution of benefits;
  • cheapening of respect for life; and 
  • animal welfare issues

The case will be argued:Thursday, December 9th, 199910:00 a.m.Federal Court of AppealSupreme Court of Canada BuildingWest CourtOttawa Ontario- 30 -For more information:Michelle Swenarchuk, Counsel, (416) 960-2284 Paul Muldoon, Executive Director, (416) 960-2284 or Cell# (416) 564-6397Theresa McClenaghan, Counsel, (416) 960-2284