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Rejecting Broad Institute Opposition, EPO Affirms CRISPR Patent Issued to Charpentier, UC, and U. Vienna (GEN)

The European Patent Office (EPO) has affirmed a patent issued to CRISPR pioneer Emmanuelle Charpentier, PhD, the Regents of the University of California, and the University of Vienna covering the single-guide CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing system—rejecting arguments filed in opposition by the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.

The EPO affirmation upholds European patent No. EP280081 (“Methods and Compositions for RNA-Directed Target DNA modification and for RNA-Directed Modulation of Transcription”), which covers uses in both cellular and non-cellular settings—including use in bacteria, plants, animals, and cells from vertebrate animals such as humans.

However, the EPO ended three days of hearings into the matter held February 5–7 by directing modifications be made into two of the patent’s 23 original claims, as well as the removal of two dependent claims.


This text has been published by Genetic Engineering & Biotechnoloy News. The full text version can be found here:

Dr Dirk Bühler, Dr Martin Huenges, Dr Kerstin Wolff and Dr Sarah von Leliwa represented patentees University of California, Emmanuelle Charpentier and the University of Vienna on the basic CRISPR/Cas9 patent (EP 2 800 811) in opposition proceedings before the EPO against seven opponents.