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Such are the arcane and often bizarre issues the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) must consider in the fight over CRISPR–Cas9 gene editing. But the proceedings, which could drag out for years, have taken an ugly turn from scientific minutiae to accusations of impropriety. “There seem to be a number of allegations of bad actors and bad faith,” says Jacob Sherkow, a legal scholar at New York Law School in New York City. “It’s aggressive.”

CRISPR patent applicants in Europe are also awaiting key rulings — some expected at the end of September — that could decide their fate (see ‘An international conflict’).

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Image: By PGP scientist – Personal Genome Project, https://my.personalgenomes.org/profile/hu43860C, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=23112383

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