Munich: The European Patent Office upheld a Harvard University patent on a mouse genetically altered to develop cancer, but restricted its wording so that it applies only to mice and not to all species of rodents. The pan-European patent, granted in 1992, protects the method of producing the animals. But the ruling, which closes a years-long legal battle with environmental groups, added further qualifications to a 2001 ruling that limited the patent to rodents. Greenpeace spokesman Christopher then welcomed the restriction as an “important partial success,” but expressed regret that the European Patent Office hadn’t backed off recognizing patents for mammals.