The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has upheld a series of patents granted for CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing to the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.
The hotly anticipated decision could conclude a contentious battle between the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the University of California over intellectual property rights to the potentially lucrative technology. Although the Broad was awarded its patents first, the University of California was the first of the two to apply for a patent on the technology.
For now, the USPTO decision creates uncertainty for companies that may want to use CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing in eukaryotic cells.
If companies are forced to seek licenses from both sides, the cost of commercializing CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing could increase.