The focus on patent disputes does not bode well for the public image of stem cell research since it interjects a second potentially negative interpretation into the debate, in this case a focus on PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY: Are scientists looking out for the public's interest in how they spend state money, or are they looking out for their own and/or private interests? It's an interpretation that is tailor made for the courts, and it also resonates with journalistic instincts to hold public officials accountable, even if in this case, public officials are scientists.
Here is how the Wisconsin State Journal describes the PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY angle:
The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, a nonprofit watchdog group in California, called on CIRM to challenge WARF's patents in court. "It would truly be a shame if a research organization in Wisconsin threw up a blockade to vital, publicly funded research in California," John Simpson, stem-cell project director for the group, wrote in a letter to WARF.