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Enzo Biochem, Affymetrix, Illumina, SNP Genetics

US District Court Dismisses Enzo’s Patent Suit Against ABI; Enzo Appeals
 
A US District Court in Connecticut has dismissed Enzo Biochem’s patent-infringement suit against Applied Biosystems by granting ABI’s motion for a summary judgment, ABI said last week, “thus dismissing all remaining claims in the patent infringement case brought against Applera by Enzo Biochem.”
 
Enzo said in a statement last week that it has filed a notice of appeal with the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
 
In the lawsuit, filed in 2004, Enzo and co-plaintiff Yale University alleged that ABI infringes six patents covering methods for modifying, preparing, and labeling nucleotides. Four of the patents were assigned to Yale and two were assigned to Enzo Life Sciences.
 
Specifically, Enzo and Yale said ABI’s sequencing reagent kits, its Taqman genotyping and gene expression assays, and its gene-expression microarrays infringe on Yale’s US Patent Nos. 4,476,928; 5,449,767; 5,328,824; and 4,711,955, and Enzo’s US Patent Nos. 5,082,830 and 4,994,373. Enzo and Yale had sought monetary damages, costs, injunctions and other relief from the court.
 
The judgment invalidates three of the contested patents, according to Applera’s law firm, Weil, Gotshal & Manges. According to court documents, the three patents affected by the ruling are the ‘767, ‘824, and ‘928 patents.
 
According to Applera’s law firm, the judge’s ruling said that the three patents were invalid for two reasons. The patents were “fatally indefinite” because they fail to provide the public with adequate guidance of what is and what is not covered, and they were not novel because prior scientific publications described the same subject matter.
 
"While disappointing, we believe that the ruling is not reflective of the facts in the case and it certainly does not impact our intellectual property portfolio of more than 200 patents," Enzo President Barry Weiner said in the statement.
 

 
Affymetrix Licenses Microarray Patents to Empire Genomics
 
Affymetrix has licensed several of its microarray-related patents to Empire Genomics, Affy said last week.
 
Under the non-exclusive agreement, Empire Genomics, a Buffalo, NY-based molecular diagnostics company, will use Affy’s technology to manufacture, use, and sell chips and related products and services for comparative genomic hybridization, Affy said.
 
Financial terms of the agreement were not released.
 

 
Illumina Inks Genotyping Pacts With Korean Firm, UK Cancer Group
 
Korean company SNP Genetics will offer Illumina’s Infinium genotyping services and has been named an Illumina Certified Service Provider, Illumina said last week.
 
Illumina said SNP Genetics plans to conduct population and genome-wide scans for genetic factors behind common diseases.
 
Companies receiving Illumina’s certification as service providers must meet minimum data-generation requirements, data certification, and an audit of the facility, Illumina said.
 
In a separate announcement this week, Illumina said that Cancer Research UK will fund two studies to uncover genetic factors linked to lung and ovarian cancers that will use Illumina’s genotyping technologies.
 
Ilumina said the studies will initially use the Infinium HumanHap550 Genotyping BeadChip, followed by customized analysis using the iSelect Genotyping BeadChip.
 
The studies mark the fourth service projects to be conducted for Cancer Research UK by Illumina’s Fast Track Genotyping Services team.