April 13 (Reuters) - The University of California at Berkeley and University of Vienna in Austria have appealed a ruling allowing a research center affiliated with MIT and Harvard to keep valuable patents on a revolutionary gene-editing technology known as CRISPR.
The patent rights could be worth billions of dollars as the technology could revolutionize treatment of genetic diseases, crop engineering and other areas.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's Patent Trial and Appeal Board in Alexandria, Virginia, in February ruled in favor of Broad Institute, a biological and genomic research center affiliated with MIT and Harvard, that they invented the technology first.
In the appeal, Berkeley and the University of Vienna are seeking a review and reversal of the February decision, which they say did not determine which inventors actually invented the use of the technology in certain cells. (Reporting by Natalie Grover in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)