A war on the ownership of the greatest biological discovery of the decade is quickly exposing the ruthless side of science, which often maintains a veneer of cheerful collaboration. No sooner had we begun to faithfully write six as the last digit in our notebooks, the year itself promised to be an important one for the fate of gene editing. In early January, the United States Patent and Trademark Office granted a motion of interference in a case of the Broad Institute at MIT vs. the University of California, Berkeley, and set up a winner-take-all legal showdown regarding patents for CRISPR, a technology worth billions of dollars, expected to revolutionize science and win a Nobel Prize. All of this is up for grabs, and likely, by the end of the year — intense, right? So let’s rewind — how did we get here?