CRISPR’s lengthy patent legal battle could finally end—in a tie

3-5-2019 crispr composite
CRISPR pioneers (from left to right): George Church, Jennifer Doudna, Feng Zhang, and Emmanuelle Charpentier. Image credit: Ken Richardson

Like a couple of heavyweight boxers who just keep slugging it out, the University of California Berkeley (UCB) and the Broad Institute continue to pummel each other through the courts. No knockout blows yet, but in the latest ruling from the US Patent and Trademark Office, UCB may finally be ahead on points.

These two behemoths of genetic research are fighting over ownership of the breakthrough technology known as CRISPR-Cas9.

In the USA the valuable claims were granted for the Broad Institute. UCB cried foul, insisting that Feng Zhang’s demonstration that he could make gene-editing work in cells was nothing more than an obvious add-on to the work of Doudna and Charpentier and shouldn’t be given a dominant patent position.

Related article:  CRISPR study reporting 'off-target mutations' draws skepticism from other researchers

The US Patent and Trademark Office has now completed its examination of a key patent application from UCB, and has signalled that it intends to accept their claims.

A tie is very rare in a boxing match. But perhaps in this contest we’re approaching the time for the two corners to get together and agree cross-licensing strategies and agreements before everyone is too punch-drunk to continue fighting effectively.

Read full, original post: The epic legal battle over CRISPR’s future could finally be over

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