Menu

Federal Court Sides with Broad in CRISPR Patent Dispute

The higher court’s decision to uphold the ruling of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board essentially ends the intellectual property battle in the US.

Sep 10, 2018
Jef Akst

ABOVE: © ISTOCK, VCHAL

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit decided today (September 10) that the Broad Institute, MIT, and Harvard deserved critical patents on the genome editing technology CRISPR that the University of California, Berkeley, had challenged.

Specifically, the court affirms the decision by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) in February 2017 that the Broad’s patents don’t step on CRISPR applications that researchers from Berkeley and the University of Vienna had filed patents for at an earlier date. That means that the Broad will continue to hold the intellectual property for the use of the CRISPR gene editing in eukaryotes—the most lucrative application of the technology.

“The PTAB decision, even if you don’t agree with its contents, it was still thorough and well-reasoned, and so there’s nothing for the federal circuit to do except affirm it,” says New York Law School’s Jake Sherkow, who has been following this case closely. “And that’s essentially what happened.”

See “CRISPR Patent Dispute Heard in Federal Court

The University of California could appeal to the US Supreme Court, but judges there are unlikely to take the case, STAT News reports. Charles Robinson from the Office of General Counsel at the University of California Office of the President says in a statement that the university is looking into “further litigation options.”

The Broad Institute, meanwhile, urges both parties to put this legal battle behind them. “It is time for all institutions to move beyond litigation,” the Broad Institute says in a statement sent to The Scientist. “We should work together to ensure wide, open access to this transformative technology.”

See “Flux and Uncertainty in the CRISPR Patent Landscape

Although the dispute seems settled in the US, the intellectual property battle for CRISPR continues in Europe, where the University of California, Berkeley, and the Broad Institute both have patents facing opposition from others who are trying to stake a claim on the technology. “There has been a significant number of granted patents in Europe to the foundational CRISPR-Cas9 technology, and the [European Patent Office] appear to be adopting a trend of allowing the grant of early patent applications in the field, knowing that these will be challenged post-grant through the opposition procedure,” says Catherine Coombes, a senior patent attorney with HGF Limited in the UK who represents some of the parties challenging these patents.

See “Berkeley CRISPR Inventors Get Another Important European Patent

February 2019

Big Storms Brewing

Can forests weather more major hurricanes?

Marketplace

Sponsored Product Updates

Bio-Rad Releases First FDA-Cleared Digital PCR System and Test for Monitoring Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Response
Bio-Rad Releases First FDA-Cleared Digital PCR System and Test for Monitoring Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Response
Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE: BIO and BIOb), a global leader of life science research and clinical diagnostic products, today announced that its QXDx AutoDG ddPCR System, which uses Bio-Rad’s Droplet Digital PCR technology, and the QXDx BCR-ABL %IS Kit are the industry’s first digital PCR products to receive U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance. Used together, Bio-Rad’s system and kit can precisely and reproducibly monitor molecular response to treatment in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML).
Bio-Rad Showcases New Automation Features of its ZE5 Cell Analyzer at SLAS 2019
Bio-Rad Showcases New Automation Features of its ZE5 Cell Analyzer at SLAS 2019
Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE: BIO and BIOb) today showcases new automation features of its ZE5 Cell Analyzer during the Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening 2019 International Conference and Exhibition (SLAS) in Washington, D.C., February 2–6. These capabilities enable the ZE5 to be used for high-throughput flow cytometry in biomarker discovery and phenotypic screening.
Andrew Alliance and Sartorius Collaborate to Provide Software-Connected Pipettes for Life Science Research
Andrew Alliance and Sartorius Collaborate to Provide Software-Connected Pipettes for Life Science Research
Researchers to benefit from an innovative software-connected pipetting system, bringing improved reproducibility and traceability of experiments to life-science laboratories.
Corning Life Sciences to Feature 3D Cell Culture Technologies at SLAS 2019
Corning Life Sciences to Feature 3D Cell Culture Technologies at SLAS 2019
Corning Incorporated (NYSE: GLW) will showcase advanced 3D cell culture technologies and workflow solutions for spheroids, organoids, tissue models, and applications including ADME/toxicology at the Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening (SLAS) conference, Feb. 2-6 in Washington, D.C.