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Federal Court Upholds Non-Infringement Verdict in Carnegie Mellon-Roche Case

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) - The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit this week upheld a summary judgment by a US district court that Hoffmann-La Roche and a number of co-defendants did not infringe on patents assigned to Carnegie Mellon University related to recombinant plasmids for the enhanced expression of DNA polymerase I.
The Federal Circuit also upheld a decision, handed down by the District Court for the Northern District of California, that certain claims of the CMU patents are invalid “for lack of written description.”
Co-plaintiffs CMU and Three Rivers Biologicals originally sued Roche in 1994 for infringing US Patent Nos. 4,767,708 and 5,126,270. In response, Roche filed motions for summary judgment of invalidity and noninfringement of the patents, which the district court granted.
In 2001, Carnegie Mellon sued Roche again for infringement of US Patent No. 6,017,745. Roche again filed motions for judgment of invalidity and the district court again granted the motion.
According to court documents, the district court entered final judgment in favor of Roche in 2007, which CMU appealed claiming that the court had erred in its decision.
All of the patents relate to recombinant plasmids for enhancing expression of DNA polymerase, bacterial strains containing such plasmids, and methods for conditionally controlling the expression of DNA polymerase I using such bacterial strains.
Co-defendants named in one or both of the original suits included Roche Molecular Systems, Roche Diagnostic Systems, Roche Biomedical Laboratories, Perkin-Elmer, Laboratory Corporation of America, and Applera.

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