Patent Protection for CRISPR: An ELSI Review

Journal of Law and the Biosciences, Vol. 4 (2017) [lsx036]

NYLS Legal Studies Research Paper No. 3093608

12 Pages Posted: 3 Jan 2018

See all articles by Jacob S. Sherkow

Jacob S. Sherkow

University of Illinois College of Law; Center for Advanced Studies in Biomedical Innovation Law

Date Written: December 7, 2017

Abstract

The revolutionary gene-editing technology, CRISPR, has raised numerous ethical, legal, and social concerns over its use. The technology is also subject to an increasing patent thicket that raises similar issues concerning patent licensing and research development. This essay reviews several of these challenges that have come to the fore since CRISPR’s development in 2012. In particular, the lucre and complications that have followed the CRISPR patent dispute may affect scientific collaboration among academic research institutions. Relatedly, universities’ adoption of “surrogate licensors” may also hinder downstream research. At the same time, research scientists and their institutions have also used CRISPR patents to ensure that the technology is used in an “ethical” manner. The review of these discussions concludes with several observations about what the CRISPR patent dispute can teach us, generally, about normative science and patents.

Keywords: CRISPR, patent, ELSI, science, collaboration, license, bioethics, competition, technology, genetics

JEL Classification: K00, K23, K41, O3, O34, D23, K11

Suggested Citation

Sherkow, Jacob S., Patent Protection for CRISPR: An ELSI Review (December 7, 2017). Journal of Law and the Biosciences, Vol. 4 (2017) [lsx036], NYLS Legal Studies Research Paper No. 3093608, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3093608

Jacob S. Sherkow (Contact Author)

University of Illinois College of Law ( email )

504 E. Pennsylvania Avenue
Champaign, IL 61820
United States

Center for Advanced Studies in Biomedical Innovation Law ( email )

Studiestraede 6
Studiestrade 6
Copenhagen, DK-1455
Denmark

HOME PAGE: http://jura.ku.dk/cebil/staff/

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