Continuing the patent dispute internationally, China has now given the Charpentier/Doudna side a patent to edit genes in the country.
CRISPR pioneers Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna lost a patent case to the Broad Insititute earlier this year when the court determined the Broad Insititute had an application markedly different than Charpentier’s and Doudna’s overall patent. UC Berkeley and Charpentier’s team are fighting that decision in the U.S.
Undaunted, Doudna told TechCrunch at the time that outcome was a positive. “I’m actually delighted to know the claims of our original patent have been allowed by the patent examiner and can now move forward towards issuance,” she said. “The Broad Institute’s patent is for green tennis balls but the patent we will have is for all tennis balls.”
What remains unclear is how U.S. companies wishing to license the patented technology will need to deal with both the broader sweeping Charpentier and Broad patent, as well as the patent granted to the Broad Institute.
That’s a different story across the pond in Europe and the United Kingdom, which both granted patents to team Charpentier/Doudna.
Now, the Chinese State Intellectual Property Office says Charpentier’s company CRISPR Therapeutics and Doudna’s two CRISPR startups Intellia and Caribou Biosciences have the rights to apply licensing of their CRISPR Cas9 technology in the country.
The claims are directed to CRISPR/Cas9 single-guide gene editing methods for modifying target DNA in both non-cellular and cellular settings, including in cells from vertebrate animals such as human or mammalian cells, confirming previous decisions from the European patent office and the U.K. Intellectual Property Office.
“Following recent grants in Europe and the United Kingdom, we’re pleased to see the expansion of our portfolio of foundational CRISPR/Cas gene editing cases globally with the decision by the Chinese Intellectual Property Office, recognizing the broad applicability of our underlying patent applications for uses in all settings, including in human and other eukaryotic cells,” Dr. Tyler Dylan-Hyde, Chief Legal Officer of CRISPR Therapeutics said.