Crispr genome-editing technology modifies an organism’s DNA without introducing foreign genes.

CAMBRIDGE, MASS. — The Broad Institute of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University has received a favorable ruling by the United States Patent Trial and Appeal Board concerning Crispr, the revolutionary gene-editing technique that has implications for many plants and animals, including humans.

As described by the Broad Institute, “On Feb. 15, 2017, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board declared that the patents granted by USPTO to the Broad Institute, MIT and Harvard concerning Crispr editing of eukaryotic genomes do not interfere with patent claims filed by UC Berkeley and the University of Vienna.”

Elaborating on the decision by the patent office, the Broad Institute said, “We agree with the decision by the patent office, which confirms that the patents and applications of Broad Institute and UC Berkeley are about different subjects and do not interfere with each other.

“Broad Institute and collaborators were issued patents for methods for genome editing in eukaryotic (including human) cells, while UC Berkeley and collaborators applied for patents concerning Crispr methods based on studies in cell-free systems that did not involve genome editing in eukaryotic cells.

“Crispr research is a very large field that involves contributions from talented scientists around the world. We have deep respect for all of these scientific contributions, including the work from Emmanuelle Charpentier, Jennifer Doudna, and their (UC-Berkeley) teams, as well as all of those who continue to advance the field.”

The U.S. patent office has so far issued 50 patents with claims to Crispr and/or Cas9, including 14 patents involving Crispr by the Broad Institute, MIT and affiliated groups.