New York Times, February 15, 2017
Andrew Pollack


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The Broad Institute in Cambridge, Mass., will retain potentially lucrative rights to a powerful gene-editing technique that could lead to major advances in medicine and agriculture, the federal Patent and Trademark Office ruled on Wednesday.

The decision, in a bitterly fought dispute closely watched by scientists and the biotechnology industry, was a blow to the University of California, often said to be the birthplace of the technique, which is known as Crispr-Cas9.

An appeals board of the patent office ruled that the gene-editing inventions claimed by the two institutions were separate and do not overlap.

The result is that the Broad Institute, a research center affiliated with M.I.T. and Harvard, gets to retain more than a dozen patents it has already been granted on the use of the Crispr technique to modify DNA in the cells of humans, animals and plants. [...]

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