CRISPR Interference at the USPTO


DC Client Alert

by John McKeague, Ph.D.

The CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) Technology was first identified in bacteria and is an RNA based system to help protect bacteria against viral infections. It has broad applications and is poised to be a valuable tool in genome engineering.

Earlier this year, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) declared an interference between a patent application owned by University of California Berkeley, University of Vienna and Emmanuelle Charpentier (collectively, University of California), and patents owned by Massachusetts Institute of Technology and The Broad Institute, Inc. and patents owned by Massachusetts Institute of Technology, The Broad Institute, Inc. and the President and Fellows of Harvard College (collectively, Broad Institute). In doing so, the USPTO declared that the University of California is the Senior Party and the Broad Institute is the Junior Party, and proposed one count in the interference. 

The interference is in the motions phase, and each party has already requested permission to file various motions. The USPTO has authorized some motions and deferred authorization on others.

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Patent Pending

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