European Union – Patent. The Court of Justice of the European Union gave a preliminary ruling that art 6(2)(c) of Directive (EC) 98/44 of the European Parliament and of the Council (on the legal protection of biotechnological inventions) should be interpreted as meaning that an unfertilised human ovum whose division and further development had been stimulated by parthenogenesis did not constitute a 'human embryo', within the meaning of that provision, if, in the light of current scientific knowledge, that ovum did not, in itself, have the inherent capacity of developing into a human being, that being a matter for the national court to determine.