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Qiagen Seeks Reinstatement of Patent Suit Against Third Wave

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Qiagen said after the close of the market on Wednesday that it has filed a brief with the US Court of Appeals seeking reinstatement of its patent infringement suit against Third Wave Technologies.
The appeal moves the case that was originally heard before the US District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin to the federal appeals court.
The dispute over patents covering human papillomavirus testing technology began in early 2007, when Digene — which has since been acquired by Qiagen — filed suit against Third Wave for infringing US Patent No. 5,643,715, entitled “Human Papillomavirus Type 52 DNA Sequences and Methods for Employing the Same.” The patent is assigned to Georgetown University and has been exclusively licensed to Digene.
In March, Third Wave countersued for “monopolistic abuse,” noting that its claims were “based on Digene’s repeated abuse of its substantial market power … and the direct and substantial antitrust injury to Third Wave and consumers resulting directly from Digene’s anti-competitive conduct.”
Last July, the US District Court in Wisconsin agreed with Third Wave’s definitions for each of the disputed patent claims in its suit against Digene and denied a request by Digene to reconsider the ruling. Qiagen officials subsequently said that they would appeal the claims-construction ruling.
In a statement issued today, Qiagen said that in its filing with the appeals court it outlined several specific claims constructions that it wants changed from the district court’s ruling. It said that Third Wave has 40 days to respond to its filing.
“We have spent considerable resources to develop the most extensive HPV intellectual property portfolio in the industry,” Qiagen CEO Peer Schatz said in a statement. “We believe in the strength of our claims and remain committed to vigorously enforcing our intellectual property rights.”
Madison, Wis.-based Third Wave recently filed for regulatory clearance of two HPV molecular tests with the US Food and Drug Administration. Qiagen already sells its molecular diagnostic tests for HPV in both the US and Europe.
Earlier this week, medical imaging and diagnostics firm Hologic said that it will acquire Third Wave for $11.25 per share, or $580 million.

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