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New England Biolabs Narrows Patent Infringement Lawsuit Against Enzymatics

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) –A lawsuit filed by New England Biolabs against Enzymatics has been "significantly narrowed," Enzymatics announced this week.

New England Biolabs has withdrawn its claims that Enzymatics infringed US Patent No. 5,670,637 and "conceded that US Patent No. 5,874,557 has expired, withdrawing its request for injunctive relief," Enzymatics said.

The '637 patent pertains to nucleic acid antibodies "that have been show to exist that have a specific binding affinity for three-dimensional molecular targets," according to the patent's abstract. The patent describes a method in which a "candidate mixture" of nucleic acids are iteratively enriched in high affinity nucleic acids and amplified.

The '557 patent describes high affinity oligonucleotide ligands "to the thermostable Taq polymerase and Tth polymerase," the patent abstract said. DNA ligands are disclosed which can bind to the Taq and Tth polymerases, and a method for obtaining such ligands are described.

In late 2012, SomaLogic, Gilead Sciences, and New England Biolabs sued Enzymatics in US District Court for the District of Massachusetts alleging infringement of the two patents. Last month, SomaLogic and New England Biolabs amended their lawsuit to include Gilead as a defendant because Gilead refused to join the action as a plaintiff.

In its answer to the lawsuit's complaint Enzymatics accused New England Biolabs of abusing the legal process by knowingly asserting frivolous claims "for the purpose of harassment and harming [Enzymatics'] business."

Enzymatics said it will continue to "vigorously pursue our counterclaims against" New England Biolabs. The lawsuit against Enzymatics alleging patent infringement of the '557 patent remains.