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Stratagene to Pay $10.75M to Settle Third Wave PCR Patent Suit

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) - Stratagene has agreed to pay $10.75 million to Third Wave Technologies to settle a patent-infringement suit related to PCR technology, the companies said today.
The suit was originally filed in 2004 in the US District Court in Wisconsin and Stratagene later filed an appeal in the Federal Circuit in Washington, DC, following a judgment in Third Wave’s favor.
The firms have also agreed to a nine-month stay on further litigation. The companies will either seek a dismissal without prejudice or an extension of the trial date for a countersuit that Stratagene’s filed against Third Wave in the US District Court in Delaware. As part of the agreement, the companies have brokered a process that would resolve the Delaware case or any other disputes either through arbitration or a royalty-bearing license, Stratagene said.
Under the settlement, Stratagene will redeem a $21 million cash bond it posted in Wisconsin last year, after a judge tripled the $5.3 million in damages that a jury had awarded in September.
Third Wave’s suit claimed that Stratagene’s quantitative PCR and RT-PCR reagents violated some of the more than 30 patents on Third Wave’s Invader product line.
Joseph Sorge, Stratagene chairman and CEO, said in a statement that the settlement will enable the company to “focus more resources on executing our long-term growth strategy in molecular diagnostics, including the pursuit of additional partnerships and product development opportunities.” 
Calling the settlement a “positive outcome” for both companies, Kevin Conroy, Third Wave president and CEO, said the agreement increases the company’s balance sheet by $50 million, cuts out costly litigation bills, and gives the company the freedom to continue to market and expand its molecular diagnostics products.

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