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Another CRISPR Patent Round

The University of California is seeking to appeal the recent CRISPR/Cas9 patent decision, as GenomeWeb has reported.

In February, the US Patent and Trademark Office's Patent Trial and Appeal Board ruled in favor of the Broad Institute. It found that as the Broad's patents specified use in eukaryotic cells, it was separate from and did not overlap with UC's patent application, as GenomeWeb reported at the time.

However, Reuters notes that the major commercial uses of CRISPR/Cas9 will likely be in eukaryotic cells.

In its appeal, UC, which is joined by the University of Vienna, argues that the Broad's patent on using CRISPR/Cas9 in eukaryotic cells was so similar to its patent application that it should not have been granted, according to Stat News. It aims to have PTAB re-instate the interference.

"Ultimately, we expect to establish definitively that the team led by Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier was the first to engineer CRISPR-Cas9 for use in all types of environments, including in non-cellular settings and within plant, animal and even human cells," says Edward Penhoet, the associate dean of biology at Berkeley, in a statement.

The Broad says in its own statement that "[t]o overturn the PTAB decision, the Court would need to decide that the PTAB committed an error of law or lacked substantial evidence to reach its decision. Given the careful and extensive factual findings in the PTAB's decision, this seems unlikely."