Harvard College v Canada (Commissioner of Patents), 2002 SCC 76, [2002] 4 SCR 45

Harvard College applied for a patent on its invention of “transgenic animals”. Harvard was seeking patent protection both on the process of producing “founder” mice and on the “founder” mice themselves.

The animal welfare groups Animal Alliance of Canada, International Fund for Animal Welfare Inc., and Zoocheck Canada Inc. were permitted intervener status in this case.

The Supreme Court of Canada recognized arguments from these groups in considering whether the mice were patentable.  The majority of the court found that the mice were not patentable, given the complexity of the animals.

Associated Statutes:

Patent Act, RSC 1985, c P‑4, s 2.

Source: Case Law

Jurisdiction: Canada (Federal)

Topics: Animal RightscompositionHarvard Collegehigher life forminventionlaboratorymanufacturemicePatentsTransgenic animals

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