The CRISPR-Cas9 Intellectual Property

ERS Genomics holds an exclusive worldwide license from Dr. Emmanuelle Charpentier to the foundational intellectual property covering CRISPR-Cas9 for all applications other than use as a human therapeutic. This patent application has broad and dominant claims covering CRISPR-Cas9 compositions and methods of genome editing in any organism.

Companies may obtain licenses to this foundational intellectual property for internal research and commercialization of research tools, kits, reagents, and genetically modified cell lines and organisms.


Recent Updates:

 On November 22, 2017 The Regents of the University of California, the University of Vienna, and Dr. Emmanuelle Charpentier (collectively “UC”), co-owners of foundational intellectual property relating to CRISPR/Cas9 genome engineering, submitted their most recent reply brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (the “Federal Circuit”).

Second appellate brief - Download version


The Patent Filing

The patent application entitled “Methods and Compositions for RNA-Directed Target DNA Modification and for RNA-Directed Modulation of Transcription” was filed on March 15, 2013 and has the designation PCT/US2013/032589. Here is a link to the PCT filing.  

Named on the patent application as inventors and where they worked at the time were:

  • Emmanuelle Charpentier – University of Umeå (Sweden)
  • Krzysztof Chylinski – University of Vienna (Austria)
  • Jennifer Doudna – University of California (USA)
  • Martin Jinek – University of California (USA)
  • James Harrison Doudna-Cate- University of California (USA)
  • Wendell Lim – University of California (USA)
  • Lei Qi – University of California (USA)

Under Swedish law Emmanuelle Charpentier was allowed to retain her personal rights and ownership in the patent. All of the other inventors were obligated to assign their rights to their universities. This gave rise to three ownership groups:

  • Emmanuelle Charpentier
  • The Regents of the University of California
  • The University of Vienna

Emmanuelle Charpentier exclusively licensed her rights to two new companies:

  • CRISPR Therapeutics – rights to use the technology to treat human disease
  • ERS Genomics – all rights except use of the technology to treat human disease

The two universities together gave an exclusive license in their rights to:

  • Caribou BioSciences. Caribou subsequently established Intellia Therapeutics and gave them rights to most human healthcare applications.

The patent application has been filed in over 60 countries worldwide. The map below depicts the geographical area in which the patent application has been filed.

Patents are being actively prosecuted in all of the above countries, but granted claims have issued so far in:

Patent No.
Grant Date




United Kingdom

AU 2013266968 B2

CN 104854241 B

EP 2800811 B1

GB 2518764 C

29 Jun 2017

14 Jul 2017

10 May 2017

02 Mar 2016

United Kingdom

Hong Kong


New Zealand



GB 2537000 B

HK 1207107 B

MX 349744 B

NZ 714353 B2

SG 11201407702X A

DE 202013012240 U1

08 Mar 2017

25 Aug 2017

10 Aug 2017

29 Aug 2017

20 Mar 2017

02 Feb 2016


DE 202013012241 U1

18 Jan 2016


DE 202013012242 U1

02 Feb 2016