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Precision Bio Says USPTO Rejects Claims in Cellectis Patents

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – In the latest development of an ongoing intellectual property dispute between Precision BioSciences and Cellectis, Precision Bio said Monday that the US Patent and Trademark Office has rejected claims in two of Cellectis' US patents.

The patents at issue, US Nos. 6,833,252 and 7,214,536, are owned by the Institut Pasteur and the Universite Pierre et Marie Cure (UPMC), and licensed to Cellectis. The French firm has asserted several related patents against Precision Bio, claiming that the firm's Directed Nuclease Editor technology infringes its IP. Last July, Precision Bio said that the US Patent and Trademark Office had agreed to reexamine the '252 and '536 patents.

In a statement today, Research Triangle Park, NC-based Precision Bio said that the USPTO had for a second time "rejected all claims under consideration as lacking novelty and/or as obvious in view of a variety of references."

"Although we believe that Precision BioSciences' DNE technology clearly doesn't infringe the claims of either the '252 patent or the '536 patent, Precision made the decision to seek reexamination of these patents because Cellectis has asserted two related patents against us," Matthew Kane, CEO of Precision Bio, said in a statement.

Those two related patents are US Nos. 6,610,545 and 7,309,605, which cover methods of using Group I intron encoded endonucleases to produce a site-directed double-stranded break in DNA for promotion of genetic recombination in organisms. The '545 and '605 patents are at the center of Cellectis' IP suit filed against Precision Bio in March 2008.

Precision Bio said that it is evaluating whether to request the reexamination of additional US patents owned or licensed by Cellectis.