The clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) technology is a powerful gene-editing tool that has spawned a billion-dollar industry. It allows scientists to alter, delete and rearrange quickly and precisely the DNA of nearly any organism. For the past three years, the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT have been engaged in a worldwide patent war against UC Berkeley to determine who invented the use of CRISPR in eukaryotic cells.
In a recent decision, the European Patent Office (EPO) revoked Broad Institute’s European patent No. 2771468. The EPO denied the Broad Institute’s reliance on its US priority provisional application because the named inventors differed between the European patent and the priority US application. The Broad Institute has expressed its intention to appeal the EPO decision.