CRISPR/Cas9: Revocation for formal defects
CRISPR/CAS9 is considered a future technology in genetic engineering. With this technology it is possible to cut DNA in a targeted manner and then modify it. In January 2018, the EPO revoked the patent in question during opposition proceedings due to formal deficiencies in the claim to priority. On 16 January 2020, after several days of oral proceedings, the Board of Appeal of the EPO declared the patent of the Broad Institute, MIT and Harvard invalid at last instance. According to Art. 87 EPC, the applicants of the first and the subsequent application must be identical in terms of priority or must have already transferred the priority rights to the applicants of the subsequent application before the subsequent filing date. Contrary to expectations, however, no submission was forwarded to the higher court instance, the Enlarged Board of Appeal. In addition to the patent in question, the Broad Institute is the owner of other CRISPR patents which, do not have the priority problem. A dispute is to be expected with regard to these patents and thus the rights to the CRISPR technology.