CRISPR priority claim invalid
All European patent eyes were turned to Munich this week, where the much anticipated EPO Board of Appeal proceedings in The Broad Institute's CRISPR case were decided.
In news that surprised no European Patent Attorneys at all (!), the appeal was dismissed, with the Broad Institute's priority claim held to be invalid, leading to the contested patent being revoked.
Interestingly, various rumours circulated mid-week that the Board of Appeal deciding the case had referred some questions to the Enlarged Board of Appeal. This proved to be fake news however, and by Day 4 of proceedings the EPO had reverted back to applying well established case law, and revoked the case.
The loss of this potentially incredibly valuable patent highlights that ensuring the correct ownership of patent property is so much more than signing a few assignment documents - a point we made in our 2018 article. Mistakes can be fatal and some are not correctable. At Alembia, we will always spend the time needed to understand the chain of title for your invention, and put any necessary assignments to a patent application in place BEFORE using it to make a priority claim - The Broad's experience shows you just how important that is.