Judges Rule In Favor Of The Broad Institute For CRISPR Patent Case
Judges in the U.S. Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PATB) ruled that the CRISPR patents to edit the genes which owned by two different research institutes can co-exist. The decision has come as a relief for Editas Medicine.
The three-panel judges ruled Wednesday as reported by WIRED, that both patents have no interference therefore the two patents can co-exist. The first CRISPR patent was filed by the UC Berkeley biochemist Professor Jennifer Doudna in collaboration with French professor Emmanuelle Charpentier. Afterward, Broad Institute in Massachussets, a collaboration between Harvard and the MIT filed its own patent for the CRISPR.
Judges ruled that the UC Berkeley receive patent for its CRISPR-Cas9 system applied to any living cells, while Broad Institute get the patent for will the eukaryotic cells on plants and animals. Editas Medicine the company that sells the research from Broad Institute welcomed the ruling, while Professor Doudna was disappointed.
“They have a patent on green tennis balls; we have a patent for all tennis balls,” Professor Doudna expressed her confusion with court ruling using the metaphore. She and Charpentier have been recognized in the scientific world as the inventors of the DNA mapping and gene editing technology called CRISPR.
The case began when UC Berkeley challenged the patent on CRISPR owned by Broad Institute according to MIT Technology Review. Dozens of patents which belong to Broad Institutes were questioned by the UC Berkeley to the PTAB. After the hearing, the appeal trial of the U.S. Patent Office decided the two patents do not overlap and can co-exist.
Following the decision, Berkeley stated to honor the ruling. However, the university still maintains its stance to declare that professor Doudna and Charpentier are the first inventor of the CRISPR.
Doudna and her colleague published her research in June 2012 to announce her ability to cut DNA in the test tube using her gene-editing system. However, more advanced and practical approach was invented by Feng Zhang of the Broad Institute in his published paper in January 2013. Feng Zhang showed the DNA cutting can be done for plant, animal, and human cells.
Watch the introduction of Broad Institute below: