CRISPR: patent battles from the US to Europe

Cath Coombes reports in World Intellectual Property Review

April 2017

Patent bodies in the US and Europe have issued important decisions in patent battles over the gene-editing technology CRISPR, as Catherine Coombes of HGF reports.

Patent battles over the underlying rights for the CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing technology have being playing out across the globe.

On February 15, 2017, the US Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) issued its decision in the patent interference proceedings between the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT’s patents and those of UC, Berkeley and the University of Vienna. It held that there was no interference in fact, because getting CRISPR technology to work in a eukaryotic environment (instead of outside a cell or a prokaryotic environment) was a separate invention.

More recently, the European Patent Office (EPO), on March 23, announced its intention to grant EP 2800811 to UC, Berkeley with wide-ranging claims. These encompass method claims for cleaving DNA in “a single-cell eukaryotic organism, a plant cell, a cell from an invertebrate animal or a cell from a vertebrate animal”, in addition to claims for the single guide RNA (sgRNA) and compositions comprising the sgRNA. In doing so, the EPO considered that the earliest filed priority document (US 61/613,373) supports cleavage in all of these environments.

Click here to view the full article in World Intellectual Property Review.