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Thermo Finnigan Sues Applera for Patent Infringement; Says Prism Tool Violates Its Electrophoresis IP

NEW YORK, Dec. 28 (GenomeWeb News) - Thermo Finnigan has sued Applera for allegedly infringing a 9-year-old patent covering capillary electrophoresis, GenomeWeb News has learned.


In a suit filed on Dec. 8 in the US District Court of Delaware, Thermo claims that Applied Biosystems' gene analyzers infringe inventions listed in its patent entitled "Controlled-Temperature Anion Separation by Capillary Electrophoresis."


Thermo said that Applera "willfully" infringes the patent whenever it makes, uses, imports, or sells its analyzer, which includes the Prism 3700. Thermo is seeking damages "in an amount adequate to compensate" the company for allegedly infringing the IP.


Saying that Applera's alleged infringement has "damaged" Thermo, Thermo also asked the court to treble "any and all damages," as well order Applera to pay interest on those damages, and legal fees.


"Adequate compensation" was not defined in the court complaint, which was obtained by GenomeWeb News.


The patent, No. 5,385,654, was awarded to Thermo in January 1995.


Officials from Thermo did not immediately return a call seeking comment. An ABI spokesperson declined to comment citing company policy not to discuss pending litigation.

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