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Jury Says MJ Research Must Pay $19.8M for Infringing ABI, Roche PCR Patents

NEW YORK, April 19 (GenomeWeb News) - A jury decided that MJ Research must pay $19.8 million in damages to Applied Biosystems and Roche Molecular Systems for infringing a number of PCR-related patents, ABI said today.


However, ABI and Roche are seeking to increase the damages, since the jury found several infringements to be willful. The companies also seek an injunction against MJ Research, which filed for bankruptcy protection at the end of last month.


The US District Court jury in New Haven, Conn., found that MJ Research infringed US patent Nos. 4,683,195, 4,683,202, and 4,965,188; 5, which cover PCR process technology, as well as Nos. 656,493, 5,333,675, and 5,474,610, which protect thermal cycler technology. According to the jury, MJ Research infringed four of these patents willfully, induced its customers to infringe all patents, and contributed to infringement of two patents by its customers.


The decision relates to the first phase of the trial, which deals with patents. The second, antitrust phase of the trial is scheduled to start July 21. ABI and Roche filed the case in 1998; MJ Research counterclaimed that ABI licensed and enforced the patents through anticompetitive conduct.

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