Oncomouselaboratory mouse that has been genetically modified to carry a specific gene called an activated oncogene. The activated oncogene significantly increases the mouseÒs susceptibility to cancer.
So, a European patent application was filed in June 1985 and was initially refused in 1989 by an examination division of the European Patent Office among other things on the grounds that the European Patent Convention (EPC) excludes patentability of animals per se. The decision was appealed and the Board of Appeal held that animal varieties were excluded of patentability by the EPC (and especially its Article 53(b)), while animals were not excluded from patentability. The examination division then granted the patent in 1991 (its publication number is EP 0169672).
The European patent was then opposed by several third parties and, after opposition proceedings took place in November 2001, the patent has been maintained in amended form. This decision was then appealed. As of May 2004, the proceedings were still pending.