Sarah Zhang, Wired.com, January 5th, 2016 http://www.wired.com/2016/01/crispr-patent-dispute-gets-really-arcane/.
The dispute over who owns the CRISPR patents has triggered an outdated patent law known as an interference proceeding to determine the validity of the Broad Institutes patents. Interference proceedings were removed from patent disputes in 2013, however, since both the Broad Institutes and University of California-Berkely’s patents were filed prior to 2013 the dispute triggered what may be the last such proceeding. Interference proceedings resemble a court, a panel of three judges listen to oral arguments to determine who invented the technology first. Berkeley requested the interference proceeding after all the CRISPR patents were awarded to the Broad Institute. US patent law now uses a first to file and not first to invent criteria to settle disputes.