NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) — Digene yesterday sued Third Wave Technologies for allegedly infringing “unidentified claims” of one of its patents, and Third Wave today said it disagrees.
The suit, filed in the US District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, said Third Wave’s Invader technology infringes US Patent No. 5,643,715, which the company said covers a single type of human papillomavirus.
Third Wave said the patent relates only to the HPV type 52, which it said is prevalent only in .5 percent of all HPV-positive cases in the US.
“We took great care to create a detection method free from the limited scope of the '715 patent's claims,” Third Wave President and CEO Kevin Conroy said in a statement.
Conroy added that its Invader chemistry “operates differently from any other nucleic acid analysis and is well protected by intellectual property rights of its own.”
Third Wave sued Digene in 2005 in an effort to get a court to support its right to sell its HPV diagnostic test. That suit was settled on Jan. 13, 2006, "without the grant of any license or freedom-to-operate under the patents-in-suit and without any effect on the patents-in-suit,” according to a statement released by Digene at the time.
Under that agreement, Digene said, the companies also agreed not to sue each other for one year. That deadline expires tomorrow.