PTAB Issues Key Decision Over Revolutionary CRISPR Technology, but this Tale is Not Over Yet

February 21, 2017

The gene-editing tool CRISPR is in the process of transforming the life sciences industry. Perhaps not surprisingly with such a revolutionary technology still in its relative infancy, a dispute over patents between universities and research institutes that have been at the forefront of its development, erupted over just who owns some of the foundational IP.

Last week in a closely watched decision, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) ruled in favour of the Broad Institute, a non-profit research organisation affiliated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard, in an interference proceeding involving a dozen patents that were challenged by the University of California, University of Vienna and Dr Emmanuelle Charpentier. In this blog Cyrus Morton and Sharon Roberg-Perez of Robins Kaplan LLP look at the implications of the PTAB’s ruling and explain that in a rapidly evolving licensing market, more disputes over CRISPR could be on the horizon. Here’s what they have to say.

Reprinted with permission from the February 21, 2017 issue of iam. © 2017 Globe Business Media Group. Further duplication without permission is prohibited. All rights reserved.


The articles on our website include some of the publications and papers authored by our attorneys, both before and after they joined our firm. The content of these articles should not be taken as legal advice. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views or official position of Robins Kaplan LLP.


Cyrus A. Morton


Chair, Patent Office Trials Group

Sharon Roberg-Parez

Former Partner

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