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Court Dismisses Bio-Rad's IP-Infringement Suit Against 4titude, Phenix Research

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) — A US District Court Monday dismissed a lawsuit that Bio-Rad filed against 4titude and Phenix Research Products for allegedly infringing one of its patents, according to court documents obtained by GenomeWeb Daily News.
As a result, Bio-Rad’s five-month legal row with the two companies was “dismissed with prejudice … with each party bearing its own fees and costs,” according to documents released by the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas Marshall Division.
In March, Bio-Rad accused UK-based 4titude and Hayward, Calif.-based Phenix of willfully infringing US Patent No. 6,340,589, which covers thin-well microplates. Four months later the company sued Eppendorf North America in the same court and for the same reason, according to documents obtained by GenomeWeb Daily News sister publication BioCommerce Week.
In the 4titude/Phenix case, Bio-Rad and the two defendants asked the court to dismiss the case Aug. 17. The Eppendorf suit, meantime, is ongoing, and on Aug. 7 was transferred to a new judge, according to court documents.
All three suits covered the ‘589 patent, entitled “Thin-Well Microplate and Methods of Making Same,” which was granted to Bio-Rad unit MJ Research in January 2002.
In its complaint against 4titude and Phenix, Bio-Rad alleged that the companies “willfully infringed and are continuing to infringe, literally and/or under the doctrine of equivalents, the ‘598 patent by practicing one or more claims of the ‘589 patent in the manufacture, use, offering for sale, sale, and/or importation or exportation of thin-well microplates.”
The suit also accused the two defendants of “contributing to and/or actively inducing the infringement by others of the ‘589 patent by the manufacture, use, offering for sale, sale, and/or importation or exportation of thin well microplates.”
In the suit, Bio-Rad sought a preliminary and permanent injunction against further infringement, claiming that it would otherwise “suffer additional irreparable harm and impairment of the value of its patent rights.”
The company had also asked the court to force the defendants to pay treble damages, damages “adequate to compensate” Bio-Rad for the alleged infringement, and attorneys’ fees.

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