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Federal Court Upholds Decision to Dismiss Nucleonics-Benitec IP Row

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) — A US Federal Circuit Court has upheld the decision of a US District Court in Delaware to dismiss a challenge made by Nucleonics against Benitec in an RNAi intellectual property case that has been in and out of courts since 2004, Benitec said today.
The ruling upheld the decision of a Delaware court that decided to dismiss Nucleonics’ challenge, Melbourne, Australia-based Benitec said.
Benitec originally sued Nucleonics, Ambion, and Genscript in 2004 alleging that they were infringing its US Patent No. 6,573,099, entitled "Genetic Constructs for Delaying or Repressing the Expression of a Target Gene."
But Benitec later asked the court to dismiss the case after a Supreme Court decision in an unrelated case “brought Nucleonics' drug development activities within the ‘safe harbor’ exemption of drug development,” GenomeWeb Daily News reported in October 2005. Because of that decision, Benitec said both the case and the controversy ceased to matter.
Nucleonics, however, argued that both the case and the controversy remained, and continued to pursue the matter through an appeal it filed in a Circuit Court in December 2006. The Circuit Court’s decision ends the case.
“We are delighted with the ruling in this case” Benitec CEO Sue MacLeman said in a statement. “[W]e are pleased that with this second confirmation from a US court we can now fully focus our attention, efforts, and resources toward rebuilding Benitec and developing RNAi therapeutics.”

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