Wednesday, May 2, 2018

CRISPR Patent Dispute

Lawyers for the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and the University of California, Berkeley, traded oral arguments in the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington on Monday (April 30). It is the latest round litigation of an ongoing patent dispute. The Broad Institute holds patents on the gene editing technology known as CRISPR, and attorneys for UC Berkeley have been challenging the claim for more than a year.  UC Berkeley filed a patent application based on its work with CRISPR in May 2012, and the Broad Institute followed suit in December of that year. In April 2014, the Broad Institute was granted the first of several patents for its use of CRISPR, and attorneys for UC Berkeley quickly contested it with the US Patent and Trademark Office. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) ruled in favor of the Broad Institute in February 2017, saying its patents present “no interference of fact,” meaning they are sufficiently distinct from those applied for by UC Berkeley that they should not be overturned. On Monday, lawyers for UC Berkeley argued that the PTAB made a “legal error” in that ruling. They argued that the appeals court should either reverse the board’s decision or send it back to the PTAB for further consideration.
This has been an ongoing legal battle for so long now. I understand that people want to make money and hold intellectual rights when it comes to new scientific discoveries. I think that the people really need to be working together more than fighting over patents. I get that everyone is not going to hold hands and sign along with each other but if you discovered anything its because you used others information to help you get smarter and if were are all working together the field of science can achieve even greater things than it has in the past.


  1. This is very interesting to read especially since we were given that video in class on CRISPR to watch. You are right in that people need to work together and not fight over inanimate objects such as money. Will be waiting to see who wins the legal battle over this.

  2. People should absolutely get credit for their work and be compensated, but at a certain point I think science is more important and lawyers should not be involved. Though science and business often collide, I personally believe that science that has the potential to save lives should be left alone, and those that wish to not work together should be left out of the science committee and barred from doing further work.