Decision No. 1312

The Commissioner of Patents issued a decision allowing claims to aged skin equivalents; specifically an epidermis equivalent and an aged dermis equivalent. The Commissioner held that the components are made in vitro, and that everything claimed is the result of in vitro manipulations in a laboratory, performed by scientists or technicians. Furthermore, all the components of the claimed products are themselves patentable per se, and have been combined by a person. Thus, they do not equate to organs or tissues as described by the Harvard Mouse case or CIPO's 2006 Practice Notice.

The Commissioner also held that the artificial skin is "equivalent" to natural skin only insofar as it meets the Applicant's limited requirements. It is not structurally or functionally equivalent and does not approach the complexity of natural skin. Furthermore, it is anatomically and functionally different than true tissues or organs. Thus the patent was to proceed to allowance.