NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Genetic Technologies today said that the US Patent and Trademark Office has upheld, without amendment, the firm's core US patent covering non-coding DNA.
The Australian firm's patent, US No. 5,612,179, was challenged last year and a re-examination was launched in June.
"This is the best possible result for the company," Genetic Technologies CEO Paul MacLeman said in a statement. "We were not expecting to hear back from the USPTO so soon. The USPTO's blanket rejection of all of the arguments put forward by our challengers reinforces the strength of the patent."
The patent is at the center of a lawsuit filed by Genetic Technologies against several defendants earlier this year. Last week, the firm said that it had settled with one of the defendants, Gen-Probe, which took a license to the non-coding patents.
MacLeman said that the timing of the USPTO's decision is ideal, considering the firm's "new US Assertion Program." He added, "All of the claims of the '179 will now be available for assertion against those parties employing the technology."