Aggregated News

Photo of Jennifer Doudna

Photo of Jennifer Doudna licensed for reuse under CC BY-SA 3.0

UC Berkeley scientist Jennifer Doudna earned a Nobel Prize for her work on CRISPR-Cas9, a revolutionary method to edit DNA.

But her lab now has lost enormously lucrative patent rights to the tool.

Ending — for now — a long, vitriolic and expensive fight over commercial application of a pioneering tool that is transforming biological research, a board of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ruled on Monday that the patent for use of the genome-editing technology in humans belongs to the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, not UC Berkeley.

UC’s claims “are unpatentable,” according to the decision

It’s a major blow for UC, representing a potential loss of $100 million to $10 billion in U.S. licensing revenues, according to Jacob Sherkow, a professor at the University of Illinois College of Law who studies the intersection of scientific innovation and patent law, regulation and bioethics. While UC can keep what it’s earned so far, he said, its take will be limited in the future.

“This means that a... see more