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Precision Bio Wins Patent Infringement Lawsuit Filed by Cellectis

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Precision BioSciences today claimed victory in a lawsuit filed against the company by Cellectis alleging patent infringement.

According to Research Triangle Park, NC-based Precision Bio, a jury in the US District Court for the District of Delaware found all claims of Cellectis' US Patent No. 7,897,372 that were asserted against Precision Bio to be invalid. The jury also found Precision Bio did not "literally" infringe the asserted claims, meaning Precision Bio did not incorporate each and every element of Cellectis' patent in its own technology.

Titled "I-CreI meganuclease variants with modified specificity, method of preparation and uses thereof," the '372 patent relates to methods of preparing I-CreI meganuclease variants "having a modified cleavage specificity."

Paris-based Cellectis sued Precision Bio in March 2011 alleging infringement of the '372 patent. Subsequently, Precision Bio asked the US Patent and Trademark Office to reconsider the claims of the patent in an ex parte re-examination and in an inter partes re-examination. In the ex parte re-examination, which remains pending, the USPTO rejected all of the claims in a non-final action.

According to Precision Bio, the federal court jury found that the company did not unfairly compete, and that "the asserted claims of the '372 patents are invalid both as obvious over the prior art and for failure to satisfy the written description requirement." The court further held that certain other claims are invalid for indefiniteness, Precision Bio said.

In a statement its CEO Matthew Kane called the verdict "a fantastic victory" for the company. "We will continue to seek to work collaboratively with all members of the biotechnology industry, but we hope this decision underscores that we will defend ourselves vigorously and effectively," he said.

Derek Jantz, chairman and VP of scientific development of Precision Bio, added, "We are happy to be done with this litigation and are looking forward to focusing our efforts on our unique and innovative genome engineering technology."

In the meantime, Precision Bio has sued Cellectis asserting 12 of its US patents. Those actions are pending in the US District Court of the District of Delaware, Precision Bio said.

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