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ERS Genomics CRISPR Patent Upheld in China

NEW YORK — ERS Genomics said Tuesday that one of the CRISPR-Cas9 patents under its control has been upheld by the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA).

The patent, No. CN201380038920.6, is entitled "Methods and Compositions for RNA-guided Target DNA Modification and for RNA-guided Transcription Regulation."

According to Dublin-based ERS — which was founded to provide access to CRISPR-Cas9 intellectual property shared by Emmanuelle Charpentier, Jennifer Doudna, the University of California, and the University of Vienna — the novelty and inventiveness of the patent had been contested. The CNIPA, however, rejected both challenges and maintained that the IP's priority application enabled uses of CRISPR-Cas9 in eukaryotic cells.

The IP overseen by ERS has survived a number of challenges over the years. For instance, in early 2020, the European Patent Office upheld European patent No. EP2800811, titled "Methods and Compositions for RNA-Directed Target DNA Modification and for RNA-Directed Modulation of Transcription." A couple of years later, the EPO upheld a similar patent, No. 3,401,400, and in late 2023, the Japanese Patent Office upheld one of ERS's CRISPR patents for the second time.

ERS has not prevailed in every dispute over its patent estate, though. Notably, in early 2022, the US Patent and Trademark Office found that patents held by the Broad Institute covering CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing technology in eukaryotic cells have priority over IP owned by Charpentier, the University of California, and the University of Vienna.