CRISPR patent dispute to be decided on legal technicality

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The U.S. Patent Office will now resolve a dispute over one of the hottest biotech breakthrough of the decade, the genome-editing technology Crispr/Cas9, through an arcane proceeding that technically should no longer exist. Because the disputed patents date back to just before a new law took effect in 2013, the patent office will work out who gets credit for inventing Crispr via a so-called interference proceeding—probably one of the last such proceedings ever.

Even outdated patent laws like to go out with a bang.

And what a bang it could be, given the billion-dollar implications. Crispr/Cas9 allows scientists to precisely manipulate genes in any living thing, including humans. If the implications bear out, that could mean cures for diseases, famine- and climate-proof food crops, and all sorts of other science-fiction outcomes. UC Berkeley and the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts both have researchers with claim to the creation of the world-changing invention.

Read full, original post: An arcane patent law may decide CRISPR’s big legal fight

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