The Patient Side of the CRISPR Patent Battle
A contentious patent battle has continued to rage between the Broad Institute at Harvard/MIT and the University of California (UC). UC is challenging 13 patents related to CRISPR gene editing technology that are currently held by the Broad Institute. The basis of the challenge lies in explaining the potential influence that the work of Jennifer Doudna (UC Berkeley) and Emanuelle Charpentier (then at Umeå University) had on Feng Zhang’s (Broad Institute) later work, and whether his work was an obvious development beyond that of Doudna/ Charpentier, or whether it has the earliest priority claim. Although the patent battle remains active with an uncertain outcome, Doudna, Charpentier, and Zhang remain key players with regards to both the patents and research advances/ startup companies related to the technology.