US braces for long battle over genetic patent rights

The first skirmish was fought last week in what could be a long war over a revolutionary patent on gene-editing technology, with colossal amounts of money at stake.

Facing off are the top international experts in the fast-growing field of gene-editing—pitting an American of Chinese origin, Feng Zhang, against the French-American duo of Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna.

The US Patent and Trademark Office ruled last Wednesday in favor of Zhang, who is a researcher at the Broad Institute, a collaboration between Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

After that decision, which stunned many scientific observers, Editas Medicine, a start-up linked to Broad, saw its stock…

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