UPDATE: Broad Institute claims victory in CRISPR intellectual property case

Previously we reported on the ongoing battle for intellectual property patent ownership of the CRISPR gene-editing technology between the University of California at Berkeley and the Broad Institute of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University.

In this case, UC Berkeley challenged multiple patents filed by the Broad Institute on the grounds that they overlapped or interfered with existing patents held by UC Berkeley.

On Feb 15, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office court ruled in favor of the Broad Institute, finding no interference, allowing the institute to retain its valuable patents.

Future implications of this ruling include the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office possibly requiring more detail on new patent applications. Requiring a greater deal of specificity on future patent applications could prevent arguments on potential overlap of broad ideas.

Additionally, this ruling could change how researchers at universities operate when developing new technologies. If researchers are required to provide a greater level of design detail on new patent submissions, researchers could run the risk of releasing proprietary information.

For now, the court’s ruling resolves the dispute over CRISPR patent ownership. However, UC Berkeley can appeal the court’s ruling, meaning this battle could be far from over.

We will provide further updates on this case as they become available.

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