The U.S. patent office has declared an interference between a dozen key patents awarded to the Broad Institute on the genome-editing technology CRISPR and 10 CRISPR patent applications submitted by the University of California and its partners, according to documents posted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
The declaration of an interference means that the patent office has determined that one or more patent applications describe inventions that are substantially the same as those for which patents have already been issued. In this case, the patents awarded to the Broad, beginning in 2014, describe the use of CRISPR-Cas9 to edit the genomes of eukaryotes — organisms whose genomes are enclosed within a cell nucleus, including all plants and animals — based on the research of Broad biologist Feng Zhang. UC’s patent applications also cover the use of CRISPR in eukaryotes, based on the work of UC Berkeley biochemist Jennifer Doudna and her collaborator Emmanuelle Charpentier.
UC and the Broad already went through an interference proceeding that went all the way to federal appeals court, with the Broad prevailing.
What a disgusting mess. Reminds me about the controversy about who discovered the HIV virus. Ultimately, the claimants agreed to share the credit, though that might have been too much controversy for the Nobel Connittee. Also, I don’t know how much money would have been generated by discovery of the HIV virus. I’m sure nothing like the potential for CRISPER
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