The USPTO has granted a motion from Broad Institute for priority benefit over Emmanuelle Charpentier (CVC) in an interference between the University of California, the University of Vienna, CVC and the Broad Institute, Inc. over certain Broad patents covering CRISPR/Ca9 gene editing technology, patents that Editas Medicine (NASDAQ:EDIT) exclusively licenses.

As a result, Broad will enter the priority phase of the interference as "senior party" while CVC will be "junior party" for the purposes of determining who was the first inventor. The senior party is considered the entity that filed an earlier patent application and is assumed to be the prior inventor. The junior party has the burden of proving that it is the first inventor.

Broad has been in a dispute over CRISPR/Cas9 patents with UC-Berkeley (Jennifer Doudna and French researcher Charpentier co-discovered the gene editing technology) and the University of Vienna (where Charpentier used to work) for almost four years. Doudna's group actually filed first, but Editas co-founder Feng Zhang submitted a request, including a modest fee, for priority review of Broad's patents, an apparent established option for patent filers. The parties have been fighting ever since.

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