Broad Wins CRISPR Patent Interference Case

The USPTO’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board has ruled in favor of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard retaining intellectual property rights covered by its patents for CRISPR gene-editing technology.

By | February 15, 2017

CRISPR patent interference case© BRYAN SATALINOUpdate (April 13): The University of California, Berkeley, has filed an appeal with the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, DC, challenging the February ruling of the US Patent and Trademark Office’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), which determined that the patent issued in 2014 for Feng Zhang and colleagues’ work on CRISPR gene-editing technology at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard does not directly compete with a patent filed previously by the UC Berkeley team. In other words, the PTAB ruled that the two parties’ claims were separately patentable.

“Ultimately, we expect to establish definitively that the team led by Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier was the first to engineer CRISPR-Cas9 for use in all types of environments, including in non-cellular settings and within plant, animal and even human cells,” molecular and cell biologist Edward Penhoet, associate dean of biology at UC Berkeley and a special adviser on CRISPR to the UC president and UC Berkeley chancellor, said in a statement.

But in a statement from the Broad, Chief Communications Officer Lee McGuire expressed confidence in the institute’s existing CRISPR patent. “Given that the facts have not changed, we expect the outcome will once again be the same,” he said. “To overturn the PTAB decision, the Court would need to decide that the PTAB committed an error of law or lacked substantial evidence to reach its decision. Given the careful and extensive factual findings in the PTAB’s decision, this seems unlikely.”

US Patent and Trademark Office’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) today (February 15) issued a ruling on a patent dispute regarding CRISPR gene editing. The judges declared that the work by Jennifer Doudna of the University of California, Berkeley, and colleagues (including Emmanuelle Charpentier, then at the University of Vienna) does not directly compete with the work of Feng Zhang at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, which was granted the original CRISPR patent in April 2014.

“Broad has persuaded us that the parties claim patentably distinct subject matter,” the court wrote in its 51-page decision (which accompanied its two-page order). “Broad provided sufficient evidence to show that its claims, which are all limited to CRISPR-Cas9 systems in a eukaryotic environment, are not drawn to the same invention as UC’s claims, which are all directed to CRISPR-Cas9 systems not restricted to any environment.”

“It looks like Broad has the decisive victory in this case,” Jake Sherkow of New York Law School told The Scientist.

UC Berkeley said that, while it “respects” today’s ruling and is “pleased” that its patent application can now move forward, the university is considering “all options for possible next steps in this legal process, including the possibility of an appeal of the PTAB’s decision,” a statement read. “We continue to maintain that the evidence overwhelmingly supports our position that the Doudna/Charpentier team was the first group to invent this technology for use in all settings and all cell types.”

If UC Berkeley does appeal to the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, “those cases take roughly a year from soup to nuts,” said Sherkow. In that circumstance, a decision would likely come from the appellate court “sometime in February or March of next year.”

The patent battle between the institutions over CRISPR technology started in January 2016, when the PTAB granted UC Berkeley’s request for a patent interference between its filed application for the use of CRISPR technology in vitro and in prokaryotes and Zhang’s patent that specifically described the use of CRISPR in eukaryotes. In December, the court heard the only oral arguments to be given on the case. UC Berkeley’s lawyer argued that Zhang’s accomplishments in eukaryotes were an obvious extrapolation of Doudna and Charpentier’s work, and the Broad’s patent thus interfered with the earlier application; the Broad’s lawyer argued that it wasn’t obvious, and Zhang’s work deserved the patent that it was granted.

“[The ruling is] obviously very good news for Broad, and a considerable narrowing of the UC patent application’s likely claims,” said Bob Cook-Deegan, a science policy expert at Arizona State University, who noted this may represent a trend in how groups pursue patents for their work. “This decision makes it seem like UC’s very broad patent claims, and their effort to claim all uses of CRISPR-Cas9 represents a more traditional, and probably outdated, strategy of staking out ‘pioneer’ patents that, in effect, claim a discovery and all its applications. The trend in patenting seems to be toward narrower patents that are on tangible inventions.”

The Broad Institute and its partners have a total of 14 CRISPR-related patents. “Consistent with our founding principle to propel the understanding and treatment of disease, Broad Institute and our partner organizations will continue to work to disseminate and share CRISPR genome editing tools to maximize public benefit,” the Broad wrote in a statement.

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Comments

Avatar of: James V. Kohl

James V. Kohl

Posts: 427

February 16, 2017

Q: Can anyone else help to put this news into the context of claims made in:

Obama Advisers Urge Action Against CRISPR Bioterror Threat

Scientific advisers to President Obama warn that the U.S. urgently needs a new biodefense strategy and should regularly brief President-elect Donald Trump on the dangers posed by new technologies like CRISPR, gene therapy, and synthetic DNA, which they say could be coöpted by terrorists.

Avatar of: zackcc1

zackcc1

Posts: 7

February 16, 2017

The taxpayer who financed the vast majority of this research is the loser at it is sold off to vulture corporations who will speculate it in endles bubbles and prevent further innovations.  People sometimes ask me if there is REALLY a cure to cancer, and the government is HIDING it.  Well, I tell them no not really, but there is actually a cure of rmost cancers if you have screening programs that can catch them at a small size.  We have such technology...its called MRI....but its too expenive to iimplement it because it is bulky and expensive due to capitalism and patents.  Rather than being developed to a cheap and portable technology in an open-source devvelopment, it similarly was patented and controlled. 40 years later we have the same bulky technoogy.  The same will happen to CRISPR-CAS.    If Nixon really wanted to cure cancer, he would have saved the taxpayer money by giving the inventors few hundred million (in 1970's dollars) and making it open source for rapid development.  If the regulators asleep at the wheel really want this technology to beneifit humanity in the near future, our governements will do the same...lets learn to reimburse the true creators instead of committing the moral hazard of the vulture speculators who will ruin the implementations of the CRISPR CAS technology for decades if not centuries.

Avatar of: zackcc1

zackcc1

Posts: 7

February 16, 2017

The taxpayer who financed the vast majority of this research is real loser in this battele as CRISPR-CAS is sold off to vulture corporations who will speculate it in endles bubbles and slow to a stall  further innovations and implementations.  A case in point comes from having done cancer research, people sometimes ask me if there is REALLY a cure to cancer, and the government is HIDING it.  Well, I tell them not really is true for most advanced cancers, but there is actually a cure of most cancers if you could implement a screening programs that can catch the cancer at an early stage when it is small.  We have such technology and have had it for many decades...its called MRI....but it is impossible to implement for screening because it is bulky and expensive, not because of any intrinsic reason, but due to capitalism and patents.  Rather than being developed to a cheap and portable technology in an open-source development, MRI similarly was patented and controlled. 40 years later we have the same bulky MRI technology.  The same will happen to CRISPR-CAS.    If Nixon really wanted to cure cancer, he would have saved the taxpayer money by giving the inventors of MRI a few hundred million (in 1970's dollars) and making it open source for rapid development.  If the regulators asleep at the wheel really want CRISPR CAS  technology to beneifit humanity in the near future, our governements will do the same...lets learn to reimburse the true creators of a novel technology instead of committing the moral hazard of the reimbursing the corporate vulture speculators who will ruin the implementations of the CRISPR CAS technology for decades if not centuries due to fraudulent control of rights.

Avatar of: zackcc1

zackcc1

Posts: 7

February 16, 2017

 

 

The taxpayer who financed the vast majority of this research is real loser in this battele as CRISPR-CAS is sold off to vulture corporations who will speculate it in endles bubbles and slow to a stall  further innovations and implementations.  A case in point comes from having done cancer research, people sometimes ask me if there is REALLY a cure to cancer, and the government is HIDING it.  Well, I tell them not really is true for most advanced cancers, but there is actually a cure of most cancers if you could implement a screening programs that can catch the cancer at an early stage when it is small.  We have such technology and have had it for many decades...its called MRI....but it is impossible to implement for screening because it is bulky and expensive, not because of any intrinsic reason, but due to capitalism and patents.  Rather than being developed to a cheap and portable technology in an open-source development, MRI similarly was patented and controlled. 40 years later we have the same bulky MRI technology.  The same will happen to CRISPR-CAS.    If Nixon really wanted to cure cancer, he would have saved the taxpayer money by giving the inventors of MRI a few hundred million (in 1970's dollars) and making it open source for rapid development.  If the regulators asleep at the wheel really want CRISPR CAS  technology to beneifit humanity in the near future, our governements will do the same...lets learn to reimburse the true creators of a novel technology instead of committing the moral hazard of the reimbursing the corporate vulture speculators who will ruin the implementations of the CRISPR CAS technology for decades if not centuries due to fraudulent control of rights on largely taxpayer funded research.

 

Avatar of: zackcc1

zackcc1

Posts: 7

February 16, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The taxpayer who financed the vast majority of this research is real loser in this battele as CRISPR-CAS is sold off to vulture corporations who will speculate it in endles bubbles and slow to a stall  further innovations and implementations.  A case in point comes from having done cancer research, people sometimes ask me if there is REALLY a cure to cancer, and the government is HIDING it.  Well, I tell them not really is true for most advanced cancers, but there is actually a cure of most cancers if you could implement a screening programs that can catch the cancer at an early stage when it is small.  We have such technology and have had it for many decades...its called MRI....but it is impossible to implement for screening because it is bulky and expensive, and that expense is solely due to very poor development under restricted patents and corporate cryonism.  Rather than being developed to a cheap and portable technology in an open-source environment, 40 years later we have the same bulky MRI technology.  The same will happen to CRISPR-CAS ( while researchers at our universities use similar technology to image atoms at this point).    If Nixon really wanted to cure cancer, he would have saved the taxpayer money by giving the inventors of MRI a few hundred million (in 1970's dollars) and making it open source for rapid development.  If the regulators asleep at the wheel really want CRISPR CAS  technology to beneifit humanity in the near future, our governements will do the same...lets learn to reimburse the true creators of a novel technology instead of committing the moral hazard of the reimbursing the corporate vulture speculators who will ruin the implementations of the CRISPR CAS technology for decades if not centuries due to fraudulent control of rights on largely taxpayer funded research.

 

 

 

 

 

Avatar of: zackcc1

zackcc1

Posts: 7

February 16, 2017

The taxpayer who financed the vast majority of this research is the loser at it is sold off to vulture corporations who will speculate it in endles bubbles and prevent further innovations.  People sometimes ask me if there is REALLY a cure to cancer, and the government is HIDING it.  Well, I tell them no not really, but there is actually a cure of rmost cancers if you have screening programs that can catch them at a small size.  We have such technology...its called MRI....but its too expenive to iimplement it because it is bulky and expensive due to capitalism and patents.  Rather than being developed to a cheap and portable technology in an open-source devvelopment, it similarly was patented and controlled. 40 years later we have the same bulky technoogy.  The same will happen to CRISPR-CAS.    If Nixon really wanted to cure cancer, he would have saved the taxpayer money by giving the inventors few hundred million (in 1970's dollars) and making it open source for rapid development.  If the regulators asleep at the wheel really want this technology to beneifit humanity in the near future, our governements will do the same...lets learn to reimburse the true creators instead of committing the moral hazard of the vulture speculators who will ruin the implementations of the CRISPR CAS technology for decades if not centuries.

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