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Judge Sides With Sigma-Aldrich on Tech Terms at Heart of Suit Against Open Bio

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) — A federal judge has agreed with Sigma-Aldrich and Oxford Biomedica’s definition of terms for RNAi-related intellectual property at the heart of a pending patent-infringement suit the companies filed against Open Biosystems last year, Sigma-Aldrich said today.
Sigma-Aldrich alleges that Open Biosystems’ Lentiviral shRNAmir library and certain other products infringe Oxford Biomedica’s IP, to which Sigma-Aldrich holds an exclusive license in the research field.
The patents that are allegedly being infringed are US Patent Nos. 6,924,123 and 7,056,699, both entitled "Lentiviral LTR Deleted Vector."
According to Sigma-Aldrich, the court sided with its description of the technology as being used to “'deliver new genetic material into specific cells, such as cells that do not divide or that divide slowly,'" giving the delivery of genes that produce dopamine into a Parkinson's disease patient's brain cells, as an example.”
Judge Charles Shaw of the US District Court in Missouri said that “the constructions of the disputed terms and phrases proposed by plaintiff are correct," according to Sigma-Aldrich.
The decision “reinforces Sigma's belief that the Oxford Biomedica patents are ‘core patents’ in the RNA-interference field, and validates Sigma's decision to license these patents and make other significant investments,” David Smoller, president of Sigma-Aldrich’s Research Biotechnology business, said in a statement.
Open Biosystems did not return a call seeking comment. Its response to the initial suit can be found here.

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