It’s been 61 days since the one and only oral argument in the CRISPR patent case. Where’s the decision?
Investors, lawyers, patent agents, biotech executives, and scientists have been anxiously waiting for the Patent Trial and Appeal Board to decide whether foundational CRISPR-Cas9 patents awarded to the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT beginning in 2014 “interfered” with a patent application filed in 2012 by the University of California. Based on the time it usually takes PTAB to hand down a decision, this one should arrive “any day now,” said Jacob Sherkow of New York Law School, an expert on intellectual property law.
But while CRISPR groupies have been compulsively checking PTAB’s electronic docket for every twist and turn in the case since the case began in January 2016, they shouldn’t expect to stumble upon the decision there. PTAB is notoriously … well, unhurried about posting motions, orders, and other case files. It posted the transcript of the Dec. 6 oral arguments on January 19. The expectation is that once the three PTAB judges hearing the CRISPR case have their decision, they will inform the attorneys representing the Broad and UC. The attorneys will inform their clients. Their clients will inform reporters.