ToolGen Files Protective Orders in CRISPR Interferences

McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP

McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP

Senior Party ToolGen Inc. has filed a protective order in each of Interference Nos. 106,126 (naming as Junior Party the Broad Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Harvard University) and 106,127 (naming as Junior Party University of California/Berkeley, University of Vienna, and Emmanuelle Charpentier, collectively "CVC") ('126 protective order and '127 protective order).  The protective orders, patterned after the one entered by the Board for CVC in Interference No. 106,115 as Junior Party, protect from public disclosure ToolGen's priority statement until such time (if ever) that either of these interferences enter the Priority Phase (likely to be late this year).

Each Protective Order requires that confidential information be labeled "PROTECTIVE ORDER MATERIAL" and that disclosure be limited to the Parties (including, for CVC: Caribou Biosciences, Inc.; Intellia Therapeutics, Inc.; CRISPR Therapeutics AG; ERS Genomics Ltd.; TRACR Hematology Ltd., and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and for Broad: The United States Government (National Institute of Health (NIH)); and Editas Medicine, Inc.), their in-house counsel and their representatives; expert witnesses, under the proviso that such an expert is not "a competitor to any party, or a consultant for, or employed by, such a competitor with respect to the subject matter of the proceeding; and 'other employees,'" which expressly include anyone not otherwise expressly set forth in the Order, provided that they sign an undertaking agreeing therein to keep confidential whatever they learn know about ToolGen's priority statements and the factual predicates thereof.  ToolGen can oppose such disclosure but bears the burden of showing why the Board should restrict any such individual from access.  Also encompassed in the Protective Order are Office personnel and their staff, all of which are burdened by the same confidentiality provisions.

These confidentiality restrictions govern what efforts at maintaining confidentiality are required for all encompassed by the Order.  Also, any submissions for which confidentiality should be maintained under the Order should be filed/served in redacted and non-confidential versions, with any redacted version having filed therewith a Motion to Seal, justifying the grounds for seal under the protective order.  The documents will remain sealed unless, "upon motion of a party and after a hearing on the issue, or sua sponte, the Board determines that some or all of the redacted information does not qualify for confidential treatment."

Each Protective Order contains a document entitled a "Standard Acknowledgment for Access to Protective Order Material" that anyone obtaining access to such materials shall be compelled to sign to get access.                                                                                                     

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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