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CRISPR: A Biotechnology Breakthrough and an Inventorship Quandary

A recent biotechnology discovery – CRISPR – may influence biotechnology as profoundly as other monumental discoveries such as DNA, vaccines, and penicillin. The applications offered by CRISPR (an acronym for “Clustered Regularly lnterspaced Short Palindromic Repeats”) can advantageously alter the genetic material of virtually any organism, and can potentially benefit many different technologies – from eliminating disease-causing genes in animals to improving the growth characteristics of food crops. At this early stage, the possibilities for using CRISPR platforms are endless.

Eric E. Williams
Barnes & Thornburg LLP

Eric E. Williams is a patent attorney in the Indianapolis, Indiana office of Barnes & Thornburg LLP and a member of the firm’s Intellectual Property Law Department. Eric grew up in rural Clinton County, Indiana and received a doctorate of pharmacy degree from Purdue University and a law degree from Indiana University.

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This technology is supported in part by New Technologies for Agriculture Extension grant no. 2020-41595-30123 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture and membership funding. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the content are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. For more information, please visit You can view the terms of useat

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