Who deserves patent for CRISPR-Cas9 in human cells? Take our poll

There is no hotter technology than CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing tools.

Perhaps it is not surprising then that there is a patent dispute over it, which falls into two camps:

(1) Jennifer Doudna & Emmanuelle Charpentier, and (2) Feng Zhang.

Who deserves the intellectual property for use of CRISPR-Cas9 in human cells?

Take our poll.

6 thoughts on “Who deserves patent for CRISPR-Cas9 in human cells? Take our poll”

  1. Shinsakan, When I was in biotech, I kept a bound, numbered lab notebook, and we would have notebook signing parties, exchanging books and signing on the “read and understood” line for each other. Once, my notebook helped solve an invention dispute with another company. And, somewhere in storage in the Bay Area, are my notebooks that were used for my own patents. I miss them- I kept them like diaries and it would be fun to look back.
    Now that I’m an academic, I still have bound, numbered lab notebooks for my researchers, but I don’t enforce their use. I have told my group to record, date, and sign any ideas that might be patentable. But the change in the US to first to file really changes the equation- the scientist loses power and the institution and patent attorneys are in charge-unless we add writing of patents to our growing list of responsibilities…

  2. I agree with Dr. Loring regarding the first-to-invent implications in this case. Like my grad school advisor always used to say, keep a tight lab notebook or you may lose a patent! Of course now that we have shifted to first-to-file, perhaps it may not be so important anymore (at least with regard to patents)…

    J: At least for US patent rights, both applications were filed in the US before AIA was instituted on 3/16/2013 (earliest priority dates are 5/25/2012 for Doudna et al. and 12/12/2012 for Zhang). That means that in the US, patentability for both applications is based on first-to-invent, which indeed means that it may become a battle for the lawyers.

  3. Jeanne,

    according to wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_to_file_and_first_to_invent):

    First to file (FTF) and first to invent (FTI) are legal concepts that define who has the right to the grant of a patent for an invention. The first-to-file system is used in all countries,[1] including the United States, which switched to a first-inventor-to-file (FITF) system on March 16, 2013 after the enactment of the America Invents Act.[2] There is an important difference between the strict nature of the FTF under the EPO and the FITF system of the USPTO. The USPTO FITF system[3] affords early disclosers some “grace” time before they need to file a patent,[4] whereas the EPO does not recognise any grace period, so early disclosure under the FITF provisions is an absolute bar to later EPO patent.

    We”ll have to let the lawyers battle it out.

  4. Hi Paul, I think your poll naming is not 100% fair… There were 7 inventors on what is now called the “Doudna” patent or the “Doudna-Charpentier” patent: what about Qi Lei, Martin Jinek, Wendell Lim, Krzysztof Chylinski, and Jim Cate then?

    Zhang ended up sole named inventor by USPTO in the publicized first granted CRISPR patent last year, but there are so far up to 11 co-inventors recorded in this patent family history… what a complex case!

    In our patent landscape, we also found plenty of others in the race, some of whom silently patented rather than published, e.g. in China… and the patent buffer is filling more and more every month. It’s really fun monitoring it!

    1. Hi Corinne,
      Of course you are right, but it’s hard to put all the inventors names in a poll. I suppose I could chance it to something like “Doudna, et al.” and “Zhang, et al.”
      Thanks for the comment,

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