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Stratagene Refutes Claims of Third Wave Lawsuit

NEW YORK, Sept. 17 (GenomeWeb News) - In response to a suit filed by Third Wave Technologies for allegedly violating patents covering invasive cleavage structure chemistry, Stratagene responded today by saying that the claims lacked merit.

            "We are surprised that Third Wave would file this lawsuit before discussing with us the differences in the two companies' technologies," said Dr. Joseph Sorge, Stratagene's Chairman and CEO. "We believe that the filing of this action by Third Wave indicates that Third Wave views Stratagene's new technology as a serious competitive threat."

            The patent infringement suit filed in US District Court in Madison, Wisconsin, seeks a permanent injunction against Stratagene that would prevent the sale of the company's probe-based quantitative PCR and RT-PCR reagents. It claims that Stratagene violates some of the more than 30 patents that protect Third Wave's Invader products, which use invasive cleavage structure chemistry to analyze nucleic acids and infectious agents.

            In the past, a similar suit was brought by Third Wave against EraGen Biosciences Inc. of Madison, Wis. The patent violation suit was settled in the same US District Court and resulted in Eragen's removal from the market of the products in question.

            "The suit filed [against Stratagene] by Third Wave is part of our ongoing effort to aggressively protect the value of our patent portfolio on behalf of our shareholders," said John Puisis, president and CEO of Third Wave.

            Stratagene's CEO said his company's patents in the area of cleavage chemistry cover technologies that differ from Third Wave's patented technologies.

            "Stratagene does not include overlapping DNA molecules in its kits," said Sorge. "In contrast, Stratagene's Full Velocity technology benefits from the sensitivity advantages of PCR amplification, something not found in Third Wave's Invader methods."

            Stratagene's FullVelocity technology, which Third Wave objects to for allegedly infringing upon their patent rights, is covered by US patents 6,350,580; 6,528,254 and 6,548,250.


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