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The global intellectual property landscape of induced pluripotent stem cell technologies

Will freedom to research and innovate be restricted as the induced pluripotent stem cell field advances toward the clinic, or are concerns premature within a rapidly changing ecosystem?

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Figure 1: Broad iPSC technology patent landscape.
Figure 2: Trends in iPSC patent document filings.
Figure 3: The distribution of ownership origination shows a fragmented landscape with public-sector dominance and a growing cottage biotech industry.
Figure 4: The percentage of patents granted globally is low and varies between countries.


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The authors thank B. Larner, F. Wattler and J. Evans (Thomson Reuters) for their invaluable assistance; A. Carr (University of Oxford) and J. Karp (Harvard University and Brigham and Women's Hospital) for their invaluable support and insights; and R. Barker (the Centre for the Advancement of Sustainable Medical Innovation (CASMI)) and M. Morys (CASMI) for their support of the CASMI Translational Stem Cell Consortium. The authors wish to express sincere thanks to the following organizations that have contributed to the consortium as funding and events partners: Centre for the Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine; Celgene Cellular Therapeutics; Cell Therapy Catapult; CIRM; Eisai; GE Healthcare; Lonza; SENS Research Foundation; TAP Biosystems (now Sartorius Stedim); MEDIPOST Co., Ltd.; MEDIPOST America Inc.; the New York Stem Cell Foundation and the US National Institutes of Health Center for Regenerative Medicine. Additionally, CASMI is a past recipient of funding from the UK Technology Strategy Board to support an investigation into cell therapy regulation. The content outlined herein represents the individual opinions of the authors and may not necessarily represent the viewpoints of their employers. D.B. is subject to the CFA Institute's codes, standards and guidelines and as such, must stress that this piece is provided for academic interest only and must not be construed in any way as an investment recommendation.

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Correspondence to Anna French or David A Brindley.

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Competing interests

D.A.B. is a stockholder in Translation Ventures Ltd., which provides cell therapy biomanufacturing, regulatory and financial advice to clients in the cell therapy sector. At the time of publication, D.A.B. and the organizations with which he is affiliated may or may not have agreed and/or pending funding commitments from the organizations named herein. D.A.B. has also consulted for Lonza Group and Sartorius Stedim within the past seven years with a cumulative compensation value greater than $10,000.

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Roberts, M., Wall, I., Bingham, I. et al. The global intellectual property landscape of induced pluripotent stem cell technologies. Nat Biotechnol 32, 742–748 (2014).

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