Citing a patent convention which forbids patenting inventions which would be contrary to public order or morality, the European Union’s patent office has rejected a patent on the grounds that the application would involve the destruction of human embryos.
The patent involved the “WARF/Thomson stem cell application” filed by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation in 1995. The patent office appeal board ruled that it is not possible to grant a patent for an invention which necessarily involves the use and destruction of human embryos, LifeSite News reports.
The European Patent Convention (EPC) forbids patenting inventions whose commercial exploitation would be contrary to public order or morality.
Wesley Smith, a U.S. lawyer and bioethics writer told LifeSiteNews.com that the decision is the first indication from the EU that the moral status of the human embryo is an issue.
The patent office ruling does not outlaw the use of embryos in research, but Smith said it will “send a chill to those who would use embryos commercially.”
“In any event,” Smith continued, “let us hear no more about religious zealots imposing their will on rational modernists. Europe is as secular a culture as you will find in the world.”