U.S. District Court Judge Gregory M. Sleet ended the stem cell patent suit by PharmaStem Therapeutics, Inc. against CorCell, Inc. and numerous private umbilical cord blood banks for infringement of its patents 5,004,681 and 5,192,553. Judge Sleet stated that, "There was no legally sufficient evidentiary basis for a reasonable jury to find that all, or any specific number, of the defendants cord blood units infringe the ‘681 patent." This judgment follows a Sept. 14, 2004 ruling by Judge Sleet stating that the defendants did not infringe on the ‘553 patent, the first of two PharmaStem patents in question. The earlier judgment overturned a $7 million award to PharmaStem.

Earlier, the Court held that CorCell is not, and cannot be, liable for patent infringement because they do not sell, or offer for sale umbilical cord blood. The Federal Court’s decision decisively rejects PharmaStem’s effort to prevent CorCell from processing and storing umbilical cord blood for families. The implication of this ruling is that ostetricians and other healthcare providers who simply collect umbilical cord blood for cryopreservation, cannot be liable for contributory infringement of any PharmaStem patent. The Court also declared that a child’s family owns the child’s umbilical cord blood and the private blood banks provide a service, processing and preserving the cord blood for the families.

Earlier, the Court overturned a ruling against ViaCell ruling that the cord blood is owned by the family and because ViaCell only provides services to assist the family, it does not infringe meaning that any individual, corporation or institution providing services to assist a family in preserving the Cord Blood does not infirnge PharmaStem’s patents.

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