KYOTO (Kyodo) U.S. venture iPierian Inc. has assigned its patent rights for induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells, to Kyoto University in a bid to avoid a dispute with Shinya Yamanaka, a professor at the university who has developed iPS technologies, the university said.

The assignment came as the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office was about to examine iPierian’s patent, which is similar to Yamanaka’s technology for which patent applications have been filed in Japan and other countries, including the United States.

The U.S. venture offered to assign the patent rights late last year, hoping to avoid a dispute, the university said.

While no financial payments accompanied the assignment, the university signed a licensing agreement to grant iPierian nonexclusive worldwide rights to the university’s iPS technology patents for use in drug discovery and development, it said.

“The most important benefit (of the assignment) is that I can spend more time on research,” Yamanaka said. “I would like to cooperate with iPierian in promoting drug discovery and development.”

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