Gene-Editing Tool Patents Instigate a Legal Tug of War Among Scientists

Fighting for that transition between innovator and patent-holder, several scientists in the US are seeking the Court’s intervention for claiming high stakes on advanced bioinformatics devices.

Technologies invented by academics and science scholars are supposed to serve the core purpose of bettering what’s been imperfect till date. Since the advent of newer technologies is directly associated with growth of business opportunities, patent fights are commonly occurring amongst two distinct scientists, or even fellow colleagues. The alleged piece of technology that has recently entered a courtroom for finding its true parent is an instrument in the realm of gene editing. Named as the CRISPR-cas9, the technology behind this gene-editing tool is awaiting patency in the US Department of Justice.

According to reports, scientists Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier have recently filed a case against Feng Zhang on claiming the invention of CRISPR-cas9. The alleged gene-editing technology is expected to be worth over billions of dollars once as its implementation is expected to revolutionize medicine and agriculture. Several believe that besides the patency battle, the CRISPR-cas9 technology is a ground-breaking feat in the bioinformatics dominion. Development of CRISPR-cas9 is expected to kick-start several interrupted scientific projects in the global biotechnology industry. The said technology enables scientists to precisely edit DNAs and devise new & unknown medical therapies, crop varieties and research tools.

The legal battle between Doudna & Charpentier, and Zhang, is expected to get even more intense as the alma mater of these scientists are also locked against each other. Jennifer Doudna belongs to the University of California, Berkley, while her European collaborator is currently a faculty at the Max Planck Institute of Infection Biology in Berlin, Germany. On the other side, Feng Zhang from MIT & Harvard’s Board Institute is also contending for royalties from CRISPR technologies. In 2012, Zhang filed patency for the technology and described its detailed use in higher cellular organisms. Four years from then, Jennifer and Emmanuelle have now gathered evidences that help them prove how they allegedly invented the CRISPR-cas9 technology. Ownership rights, higher stake in the technology’s profits, and patency claim are the prime wagers pledged in this patency suit.

About Siddhesh Asalekar 26 Articles
Siddhesh Asalekar is an independent columnist and writer, covering latest news and market updates on a variety of industrial verticals. With over three years of experience in reporting cutting-edge stories & events, Siddhesh continues to quench his undying thirst of being a competent expert. The budding writer devotes his downtime indulging into Netflix shows and gaming.