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Cellectis, Precision Biosciences File Suits Against Each Other Again

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – French firm Cellectis and North Carolina-based Precision Biosciences have filed two new suits against each other alleging infringement of US patents covering modified meganucleases.

Precision Bio filed its suit first, on Sept. 26, in the US District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, less than a week after being issued US Patent No. 8,021,867, titled, "Rationally Designed Meganucleases with Altered Sequence Specificity and DNA-Binding Affinity." Precision Bio alleges in its most recent legal action that Cellectis is infringing the '867 patent through sales of its meganuclease products.

Cellectis' latest suit was filed last week in the US District Court for the District of Delaware on Sept. 30, and claims that Precision Bio's '867 patent infringes Cellectis' US Patent No. 7,897,372. Cellectis has already filed suit against Precision Bio for allegedly infringing the '372 patent, but in the most recent suit it said that the two cases are related. Cellectis also claims that the '372 Cellectis patent is prior art to Precision Bio's '867 patent.

The earlier Cellectis suit was filed in March 2011 and is currently in the discovery phase. It is scheduled for trial in February 2013. Cellectis said in this most recent filing that "the discovery in both cases likely would substantially overlap."

Among the remedies it is seeking, Cellectis has asked the court to declare the claims in the '867 patent invalid, declare that Cellectis does not infringe the '867 patent, and declare that Precision be enjoined from threatening or charging Cellectis with infringement of the '867 patent.

The firms have been involved in legal challenges against each other for a few years stemming from their patents covering gene editing technologies.