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18 January 2018
This week saw the first decision from the EPO Opposition Division related to the CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing technology. The patent in question, EP2771468, which was granted to the Broad Institute, MIT and Harvard University was revoked after the filing of nine oppositions.
The PCT application from which EP2771468 derived was filed naming Broad, MIT and Harvard University as Applicants and claiming priority from twelve US provisional applications, some of which named the inventors as Applicants.
The Opposition Division held that the right to claim priority in respect of four of the provisional applications had not been correctly assigned from the inventors named on the provisional applications to the Applicants named on the PCT application.
Consequently, the claims were found to lack novelty over a number of documents which, as a result of the invalid priority claim, became relevant prior art.
The Broad Institute immediately released a statement indicating that they intend to appeal the decision.
Life Sciences & Chemistry group
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© Withers & Rogers LLP, January 2018