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China sides with Berkeley on CRISPR patent

03 July 2017

By Rachel Siden

Appeared in BioNews 907

China's State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) has granted the University of California a patent on CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing technology in the country.

The SIPO patent granted to University of California Berkeley, University of Vienna and researcher Professor Emanuelle Charpentier, will allow them to license CRISPR technologies to firms and researchers in China. It will also allow Professor Charpentier's company CRISPR Therapeutics and that of Professor Jennifer Doudna at Berkeley - Intellia Therapeutics, to market any CRISPR-based therapies they develop in future in the country.

'SIPO's decision further expands our IP portfolio, and is further global recognition that Jennifer Doudna, Emmanuelle Charpentier and their team are the pioneers in the application of CRISPR/Cas9 in all cell types,' said Intellia Therapeutics Chief Executive Officer and President, Dr Nessan Bermingham.

CRISPR intellectual property rights are the subject of an ongoing dispute in the USA between the University of California who were first to file and hold a general patent, and the Broad Institute, whose use of CRISPR in eukaryotic cells was determined to be separately patentable. The University of California argue that Professor Doudna and Professor Charpentier's team were the first to invent the technique, and has since filed an appeal for patent rights to uses of CRISPR in all cell types.

'China is following the lead of the EU and UK in saying that Doudna and Charpentier were the first to invent the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technology,' said University of California Berkeley spokesperson, Robert Sanders, according to The Daily Californian. 'We are arguing that the US Patent and Trademark Office should also recognize Doudna and Charpentier were the first to invent the technology.'

The Broad Institute may yet be granted its own patents in China, as patent applications from the Broad Institute are still being considered by SIPO. 'In China, patents are subject to invalidation proceedings after they are issued,' Lee McGuire, the chief communications officer for the Broad Institute told The Daily Californian.

RELATED ARTICLES FROM THE BIONEWS ARCHIVE

17 July 2017 - by Kulraj Singh Bhangra 
The Broad Institute of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard will take part in an initiative to simplify licensing CRISPR genome editing technology to other organisations and institutions...

02 May 2017 - by Brian Nolan 
The European Patent Office and the United States Patent and Trademark Office have been thrust into a dispute pitting the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Vienna against the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard University. Scientists and inventors have been watching the decisions of the EPO and USPTO because these decisions may leave one of these entities with a patent portfolio worth billions of dollars...
03 April 2017 - by Jennifer Willows 
The European Patent Office has declared that it intends to grant a broad patent for the use of CRISPR technologies to the University of California, the University of Vienna and Dr Emmanuelle Charpentier of the Max-Planck Institute in Berlin...
20 February 2017 - by Ryan Ross 
The US Patent and Trademark Office has upheld the right of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard to the genome-editing tool CRISPR/Cas9...
06 February 2017 - by Dr Linda Wijlaars 
Professors Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier have won the 2017 Japan Prize for their work on the genome-editing technology CRISPR/Cas9....
12 December 2016 - by Antony Blackburn-Starza 
Oral arguments from lawyers acting for the Broad Institute and the University of California, Berkeley, in the high-profile CRISPR/Cas9 patent dispute have been heard in Virginia...

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