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What you need to know about the legal battle over CRISPR patents

This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

In 2012, Cal biochemistry and molecular biology professor Jennifer Doudna and microbiologist Emmanuelle Charpentier, now of the Max Planck Institute, changed the world. They invented CRISPR-Cas9, a gene editing tool…

Then in 2013, MIT bioengineer Feng Zhang published a paper in the journal Science that outlined a CRISPR process specifically for eukaryotic cells, i.e., those from higher plants and animals…At that point, the CRISPR saga bifurcated into two parts: the research narrative and the legal fight.

[Berkeley law professor Robert ]Merges set it up this way: UC maintains that it has never been determined who first developed eukaryotic CRISPR applications, that CRISPR basically uses the same process for viruses and eukaryotic cells, and that the February decision should be reversed.
“But the patent trial court found that there ‘is no interference in fact,’ which in this case basically means the inventions are not the same,” said Merges.

“It’s like Cal claims it invented cookies, and then Broad says it invented chocolate-chip cookies,” he says. “If Cal’s [pending] patent is verified and Broad’s also is upheld, you could end up with a situation where a biotech company would need licenses from both Cal and Broad for a CRISPR application. That kind of bundled license is very common in the world of patents.”

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: The Current CRISPR Patent Dispute, Explained

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