SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 8 - Stratagene has declared legal victory in a patent dispute sparked by Invitrogen.
In a final judgment handed down on Jan. 31, the US District Court for the Western District of Texas said that Stratagene did not infringe on Invitrogen patents related to its competent cell products.
According to Stratagene, the dispute began when Invitrogen sued the La Jolla, Calif.-based company for allegedly infringing one of its patents, No. 4,981,797. Then, in August last year, Invitrogen voluntarily withdrew its allegations, made against Stratagene's electrocompetent cell and certain chemically competent cell products, Stratagene said.
Invitrogen's position further eroded that month when the District Court narrowed its interpretation of the '797 patent, Stratagene said. Following the court's recent decision, Invitrogen withdrew its remaining patent-infringement allegations.
"We still feel strongly that our patent holds... and we decided to continue to fight in appeals court," said Mary Cassoni, an Invitrogen spokesperson.
"This particular lawsuit doesn't have a lot of risk for us," said Cassoni. "If we lost, we wouldn't be collecting royalties from Stratagene that we believe we're due. This still doesn't affect our business."
Invitrogen has foreign patents connected with the competent cell technology that is may use to persue additional litigation, added Cassoni.
Competent cells, at the heart of the dispute, contain cell walls that have been manipulated to let them absorb various DNA in order to facilitate cloning projects. Stratagene creates various types of competent cell strains.