Language of document :

Judgment of the Court (Grand Chamber) of 18 December 2014 (request for a preliminary ruling from the High Court of Justice (Chancery Division) — United Kingdom) — International Stem Cell Corporation v Comptroller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks

(Case C-364/13) 1

(Reference for a preliminary ruling — Directive 98/44/EC — Article 6(2)(c) — Legal protection of biotechnological inventions — Parthenogenetic activation of oocytes — Production of human embryonic stem cells — Patentability — Exclusion of ‘uses of human embryos for industrial or commercial purposes’ — Concepts of ‘human embryo’ and ‘organism capable of commencing the process of development of a human being’)

Language of the case: English

Referring court

High Court of Justice (Chancery)

Parties to the main proceedings

Applicant: International Stem Cell Corporation

Defendant: Comptroller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks

Operative part of the judgment

Article 6(2)(c) of Directive 98/44/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 July 1998 on the legal protection of biotechnological inventions must be interpreted as meaning that an unfertilised human ovum whose division and further development have been stimulated by parthenogenesis does not constitute a ‘human embryo’, within the meaning of that provision, if, in the light of current scientific knowledge, it does not, in itself, have the inherent capacity of developing into a human being, this being a matter for the national court to determine.



1 OJ C 260, 7.9.2013.