NO EMBRYO NEEDED: Cellular Dynamics Enhances Stem Cell Methodologies

The search to painlessly generate induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) is heating up, and Cellular Dynamics International, Inc. is on the leading edge. The USPTO recently published Cellular Dynamics’ patent application for “Generation of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells from Small Volumes of Peripheral Blood,” which generally discloses methods for increasing the overall process efficiency of reprogramming peripheral blood cells into iPS cells.

In a nutshell, pluripotent stem cells can produce any type of cell, whereas tissue stem cells can only produce cells of that tissue type. Embryonic stem cells are pluripotent cells, but as they generally do not exist in the human body after the person is five days old, working with these cells presents ethical and scarcity concerns. Tissue stem cells, on the other hand, are plentiful but only generate cells within a particular tissue line. For example, dermal fibroblasts can differentiate into any skin cell and hematopoietic progenitor cells can differentiate into any blood cell, but neither can differentiate into muscle tissue cells. Naturally, scientists tried, and succeeded, in converting these cells into pluripotent stem cells, by inducing them into that condition, hence the name. As scientists must start from something, obtaining hematopoietic progenitor cells from blood draws is much less painful to the patient than obtaining dermal fibroblasts from a skin biopsy, and hence hematopoietic progenitor cells are preferable starting materials from which to make iPS cells.

Generally speaking, when hematopoietic progenitor cells are expanded (multiplied in a lab setting), they have a tendency to differentiate (configure into a specific type of cell), which makes them less likely to accept reprogramming into iPS cells. The Cellular Dynamics researchers, however, found a way to avoid such a result, thereby allowing the researchers to harvest more hematopoietic progenitor cells from a smaller volume of blood. While beyond the scope of this article, interested readers are encouraged to discover the conditions that brought about this result via U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2017/0088818 A1. Using, essentially, a combination of conditions, inhibitors, and medium composition, the researchers were able to both expand the hematopoietic progenitor cells while still achieving reprogramming success using known reprogramming techniques (introducing exogenous episomal genetic elements or exogenous RNA genetic elements that express iPS reprogramming factors into the expanded hematopoietic progenitor cells).

More iPS cells mean more breakthroughs, and this patent application may accelerate that process as well.

By |May 12th, 2017|Cell Methodologies|0 Comments


During April 2017, Omni Legal Group filed it’s 500th trademark application in the United States Trademark Office. Trademarks are identifiers of source that are intended to prevent consumer confusion and they protect a brand’s logo and name. In addition to our 500+ US filings, we have registered marks all over the world including places such as Australia, China and the European Union. Our clients work in a wide variety of industries including fashion designers, software developers, doctors, musicians, contractors, and chefs to name a few. Trademarks are one of the most important pieces of intellectual property that a business can own and all business owners should review their brand and products to determine if they are protected. If not, we would love to make sure that your brand is strong and secure.
By |May 12th, 2017|news|0 Comments


During the 16th century a Dutch shipmaker used heat to concentrate wine to make it easier to transport, his idea was to reconstitute it with water when he arrived at his destination. What he ultimately discovered, was that the heated wine tasted very good. The concentrated wine was called burnt wine or brandewijn in Dutch. Today, Brandy is enjoyed around the world.

By |May 11th, 2017|Trademarks|0 Comments


Selma and the Intellectual Property involving Dr. King’s famed speeches.

Best Picture Oscar Nominee, Selma is a a cinematic portrayal of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legendary march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in support of the Voter Right’s Act of 1965. Despite the film’s many accolades, history buffs have been quick to raise criticism for its technically inaccurate portrayals of King’s famous speeches. In an effort to avoid violating the copyrights held by King’s estate – which have been reportedly licensed to DreamWorks and Warner Bros. for use in an upcoming film – director Ava DuVernay chose instead to paraphrase Dr. King’s works. The commentary surrounding this decision has run the gamut from enthusiastically supporting the King estate’s exercise of its rights, to decrying the copyright system for failing to make such socially important content available for free dissemination. It is easy to be swept up by the emotion displayed on both sides of the spectrum, especially when King’s work has had such a profound effect in shaping the social and political climate we face today. Still, it is important to put the copyrights at issue into perspective.

Frustrating though it may be to lack unfettered access to King’s speeches, the court of public opinion is not be the body that determines which art and which technology should be protected by the law. Indeed, the copyright and patent laws that govern such things have been put in place precisely in order to ensure that the often artful and intangible objects of our creation are indiscriminately provided with some manner of protection in the same way that our personal property is.

The issue here is not resolved by arguing that King’s speeches are so important that performing them verbatim should fall within the realm of allowable, license-free “fair use.” Indeed, had DuVernay proposed using King’s speeches for the purpose of criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research, using the his words without a license would arguably be allowable. Instead, DuVernay would have used the work to draw a profit for herself and her associates through a wildly successful feature film. And it is precisely this unlicensed commercialization of his copyrighted works that King’s estate has consistently fought against with support from the courts.

By |January 19th, 2015|Copyright Law|0 Comments


The famous literary detective Sherlock Holmes experienced a renaissance when new breath was given to him by Robert Downey, Dr. in the Guy Richie films and, more recently, in the television shows Sherlock and Elementary. Since then, the copyright status of Detective Holmes has become a subject of much debate and, inearly 2013, scholar Leslie Klinger brought suit a to determine who indeed owned
these rights.

In a suit brought against the estate of the detectives creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Klinger asked the courts to rule that the characters and other elements featured in 46 short stories and 4 novels (published from 1887 through 1922) are now in the public domain. A ruling in his favor would leave him, and others, free to sell their own adaptations of the Sherlock universe without any need to seek licenses from the Doyle estate.

The Supreme Court laid the issue to rest once and for all and Klinger got just what he wanted. On November 3, 2014, the Supreme Court did so by refusing to

because their features had been changed in later stories. Accordingly, any copyrights covering the elements of the Sherlock Holmes stories written prior to 1923 are now expired.

grant an appeal by the Doyle estate and by upholding a decision by the 7th Circuit. This decision held copyright protection in Conan Doyle’s characters, many of which are now more than 125 years old, could not be extended simply.

We’re curious to know which Sherlock stories would you like to reimagine?

By |November 24th, 2014|SHERLOCK|0 Comments