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Third Wave, EraGen Settle Patent Dispute; EraGen Will Discontinue Majority of Gene Codes Line

NEW YORK, April 10 - Third Wave Technologies today said it has settled its patent-infringement lawsuit against EraGen Biosciences.


According to the terms of the settlement, EraGen will discontinue developing and selling its Gene Code products 1.0, 1.2, and 1.3, and will no longer use technologies employing invasive cleavage. However, EraGen, which does not admit it had infringed Third Wave's patents, will continue to sell its Gene Code 2.0 and Multi-Code technologies because they do not use invasive cleavage.


In exchange, Third Wave has agreed to "dismiss the lawsuit" against EraGen and to "issue a covenant not to sue" under certain Third Wave patents. Financial and other terms of the settlement were not disclosed.


Third Wave's suit, filed against EraGen last September in a US District Court, alleged that EraGen's Gene Code products infringed two Third Wave patents related to invasive cleavage-structure technology. Last month, the court issued a ruling confirming Third Wave's interpretation of the patent claims at issue.


Invasive cleavage-structure technology, which Third Wave commercializes in the form of its Invader products, is used to analyze nucleic acids. The technology relies on synthetic DNA probes that overlap to form a structure that is recognized and cut by enzymes created by Third Wave when the molecular target of interest is present.


"We are very happy to have this lawsuit behind us," Irene Hrusovsky, EraGen's president and chief executive officer. "EraGen is a small, emerging company, and we decided our funds are better spent on research and development and introducing new products, rather than on protracted litigation with a larger, better funded competitor. The settlement has no impact on our projected sales and product launches."

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