Can we solve the patent issues that threaten CRISPR research?

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[Editor’s note: Lawrence Horn is President and CEO of MPEG LA, which provides licenses for standards and other technology platforms.]

Although recent reports of its success in the laboratory are promising, the larger challenge confronting CRISPR may be access to the underlying patent rights. To develop CRISPR technologies, commercial developers must fight or license their way through an intellectual property labyrinth that is the definition of inefficiency.

In recognition that CRISPR is too important to be left at risk of endless patent battles and splintered licensing regimes, key CRISPR patent holders including the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard have responded affirmatively to a public call for the creation of a global pool license.

Companies the world over – and their customers – will reap great benefits from the transparency of a pool license and the ability to license the necessary patents in a single transaction on fair and predictable terms. At the same time patent owners will be rewarded for their innovation with the opportunity to maximize return and minimize risk on their investments by making their technology accessible to many rather than just a few.

A patent pool in which rights holders make these decisions in concert with the market is preferable to governmental or judicial intervention. It also appears to be their most practical option and one that would bring good will and responsible stewardship to biotechnology innovation.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Amazing gene-editing technology needs a pass on patent minefields

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