• Gene Editing

Gene Editing (Photo : YouTube)

The scientists at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and UC Berkeley are at odds over the patent rights of CRISPR-Cas9, which is commonly known as the gene editing technology.

MIT and Harvard are the current owners of the patent, but the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office received request to instead award the patent to UC Berkeley last month. The patent is claimed to be worth a billion dollar and whichever holds the patent has complete control over its commercial use as well, according to Daily Cal..

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The legal team of UC Berkeley filed a request with the USPTO to award the patent to UC Berkeley's team, which is led by Jennifer Doudna. She is a professor of molecular cell biology and chemistry at Berkeley.

The gene editing technology is a very precise way to modify the DNA sequences compared to the other gene-editing techniques. 

Currently Feng Zhand holds the patent for the gene-editing technique. He submitted his lab notebooks as proof that his research center developed the technique, according to Modern Readers.

This claim is refuted by UC Berkeley, who are pressurizing the government to investigate the issue. Brett Staahl, who is a postdoctoral associate in UC Berkeley said that the technology is revolutionary and so precise that it can cure the causes of genetic disease in one stroke. It is also a crucial requirement for the future of academic research.

Analysts say that the legal battle over the patent would take years to resolve. It is also expected that the losing side would appeal on the issue and lengthen the process.