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MPEG LA to Pursue All-In-One CRISPR License Solution

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – MPEG LA, a licensing agreement middleman, today announced an initiative to create a licensing pool for CRISPR patents.

The firm, which operates licensing programs in consumer electronics, said it has begun to scout the CRISPR intellectual property landscape to identify essential patents that would need to be bundled together to enable a one-stop license shopping experience for organizations looking to develop CRISPR applications.

"CRISPR's wide range of potential applications in medicine and agriculture, and the steadily increasing volume of intellectual property in the field, point to the need for a one-stop licensing platform to reduce litigation risk and provide efficiency, transparency, and predictability to scientists and businesses worldwide," MPEG LA President and CEO Larry Horn said in a statement.

"Our worldwide licensing infrastructure, trusted reputation for independence, experience, impartiality and results with patent pools, and relationships with industry and academia, including life sciences, position MPEG LA to deliver a licensing solution for the life sciences market as it did with digital video for the consumer electronics market," Horn added.

The foundational intellectual property rights for many applications of CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing technology are currently in dispute. Today, the US Patent and Trademark Office's Patent Trial and Appeal Board heard oral arguments in the patent interference proceeding between parties led by the University of California, Berkeley, and the Broad Institute, respectively.

It's not the first foray into biotechnology for MPEG LA, which announced in 2012 the Librassay program to pool and license diagnostics patent rights.

The firm said in a statement that it would look at other genome engineering technologies as they emerge.