There has been re-ignition of the patent fight which has been continued for a long time over who was the one behind the invention of the innovative CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing system by a different board of the United States Trademark & Patient Office.
Almost a year ago, after a ruling of the same patent office board was upheld by the federal court, the matter seemed to be put to an end. The ruling was upheld because it did not interfere with the work of the opponent scientists at the California University and 2 Universities of Europe.
According to the ruling of last year, the broad research which was headed by Feng Zhang gave a demonstration on how to edit the DNA of a eukaryotic cell, which means that a cell which can belong to a fungus, an animal, algae or a plant. In their work, the Berkeley group, headed by Emmanuelle Charpentier & Jennifer Doudna, there was no specific mention of the type of cell which was published 7 years ago.
A very significant question was left unanswered by the ruling that who exactly invented the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing in eukaryotic cells? This question could have serious strategic, as well as, financial consequences for the Biotechnological firms which employ CRISPR for the development of medicines, as well as, various other products. Several companies have aligned themselves with either of the two sides. Take the example of CRISPR Therapeutics & Intellia Therapeutics which are tethered to the Berkeley camp by means of a research firm which Doudna discovered a decade ago and Bean Therapeutics & Editas Medicine which are the primary licensees of the Broad.
The first company known to put a trial CRISPR medicine into the human body this year was the CRISPR Therapeutics for a study for the treatment of a blood disease.
The Patent Trial and Appeal Board have passed a declaration today of the interference between both sides.