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Tsinghua Lecture on Law and Economics---Knowledge System and Innovation Incentives The 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for CRISPR and Patent Competition

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna, two female scientists who invented CRISPR (Gene Editing Technology) on the afternoon of October 7, 2020. Zhang Feng, a professor of Chinese origin who was expected to win the award, was passed over. But he has successfully obtained important patents related to CRISPR. On October 11, 2020, the Institute of Economics of Tsinghua University held the Tsinghua Lecture on Law and Economics---Knowledge System and Innovation Incentives---The 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for CRISPR and Patent Competition by the online and offline means. This lecture thoroughly discussed the knowledge systems corresponding to basic scientific discoveries and practical technologies.
The lecturers were He Yanran, Investment Manager of Panacea Venture and Doctor of Biomedicine of University of Chicago, and He Wengang, partner of Zhong Lun Law Firm and Doctor of Law of Duke University.
Dr. He Yanran introduced the gene editing, its history and applications. For example, gene editing has greatly accelerated biological research. Yuan Longping spent 14 years cultivating the first generation of hybrid rice through nature’s gifts, and now it only takes a growth cycle to cultivate a new crop and a few weeks for a new mice strain. Gene editing tools have greatly improved all aspects of human life. At the same time, the applications of gene editing should not ignore biological ethics. In the future, gene editing will definitely not be the end of scientific progress. It will inspire generations of scientists to develop a safer and more powerful new generation of gene editing tools to benefit mankind.
Dr. He Wengang analyzed the causes and progress of intellectual property disputes between Zhang Feng and Doudna teams, legal procedures for intellectual property disputes and possible follow-up legal actions from a legal perspective. Although the two sides still have not yet filed a civil action concerning the patent infringement, both of them may file such litigation in the future, accusing the other side of product patent infringement. Once a lawsuit is filed, the litigation disputes may be caused in the United States, Europe and China at the same time, because both sides have patents in these places, and these places are the markets that both sides attach importance to.
This lecture was chaired by Xie Danxia, Assistant Professor of Institute of Economics, School of Social Sciences, Tsinghua University.