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Invitrogen Settles Patent Infringement Litigation with Promega and Others

NEW YORK, March 29 – Invitrogen said Thursday it has settled pending patent infringement suits against Promega and two other competitors, New England Biolabs and Display Systems Biotech, in which Invitrogen alleged that its competitors had infringed on its patents for modified reverse transcriptase enzymes with low RNase activity.

Under the terms of the settlement, the three competitors will pay Invitrogen undisclosed amounts, will cease producing any products that infringe upon Invitrogen’s patent, and will destroy all infringing products. The parties did not disclose further financial terms of the settlements.

"An important part of our business success is due to the unique nature of our technology platform and the product differentiation we create by using our proprietary technology," Lyle Turner, Invitrogen's CEO, said in a statement. "These settlements are particularly significant since each competitor admitted that these patents are valid and enforceable and that their manufacture, use and sale of RNase H minus reverse transcriptases infringed our patents." 

Invitrogen markets its RNase H minus reverse transcriptases, SuperScript and ThermoScript, to facilitate the production of full-length cDNA.  While the native RNase enzyme usually degrades the RNA, making it difficult for a full-length cDNA to be formed, this low RNase reverse transcriptase allows reverse transcription from RNA to cDNA without degrading the RNA. Invitrogen also markets SuperScript cDNA libraries.

Promega, a maker of SNP-detection technologies, bioinformatics tools, and other life sciences products, could not immediately be reached for comment.