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April 13, 2017

University of California appeals CRISPR patent setback

  • Judicial
  • Genetics/Genomics

STAT – The University of California has filed an appeal to overturn a February decision by a US patent tribunal that dealt UC a setback in its efforts to win foundational patents on the revolutionary genome-editing technology CRISPR-Cas9.

In that decision, the US Patent Trial and Appeal Board ruled that CRISPR patents issued to the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in 2014 did not cover the same inventions for which UC had sought patents. The PTAB decision found that the claims can be patented separately. That left UC free to pursue its original patent applications, but was deemed a setback because the Broad was left with what many experts considered the more valuable intellectual property.

The appeal seeks to have PTAB reverse its decision, and conclude that the Broad’s patents on the use of CRISPR-Cas9 in eukaryotic cells — those of advanced organisms, including all plants and animals — are so similar to UC’s patent application on the use of CRISPR in more primitive cells, like bacteria, that they should not have been granted.

Read more at STAT.