On 13 January 2020, the Board of Appeal kicked off the much awaited CRISPR hearing. After a long battle, on 16 January 2020 (Day 4 of the hearing), the Technical Board of Appeal at last came to a final decision.

Day 1 and 2 of the hearing suggested that the Board of Appeal may intend to refer the matter of priority to the Enlarged Board of Appeal. In a dramatic turn of events, the Board of Appeal dismissed the appeal (T 0844/18) for the CRISPR patent EP2771468 and upheld the Opposition Division’s decision to revoke the patent for lack of novelty.

We now await the formal written decision and minutes of the oral proceedings. In the meantime, the key message to take away is that ensuring priority is claimed validly is crucial. To avoid any issues at the EPO, Applicants must make sure that they have the right to claim priority at the application filing date.