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VisEn Asks USPTO to Invalidate Caliper's In Vivo Imaging Patent

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) - VisEn Medical said yesterday that it has filed a re-examination request with the US Patent and Trademark Office to invalidate and revoke claims of a patent awarded earlier this week to Caliper Life Sciences for in vivo imaging technology.
The USPTO granted the patent, US No. 7,255,851, “Non-invasive localization of a light-emitting conjugate in a mammal,” on Tuesday.
The patent was issued to Stanford University and is among a family of Stanford patents that was licensed to Xenogen prior to Caliper’s $80 million acquisition of the company last year.
VisEn said yesterday it has presented 15 prior art references “demonstrating the invalidity of the '851 patent, the majority of which had not been previously considered by the USPTO."
The company said that the technologies used in optical in vivo imaging had been researched and developed by "numerous investigators worldwide," and were in use before 1994, when the first application in the patent estate was filed.
VisEn CEO Kirtland Poss said in a statement that while his company “respects the contributions of Caliper/Xenogen to the field of bioluminescence imaging, we believe it is clear that the basic methods of fluorescence in vivo imaging were well known and in use before the priority date of the '851 patent, and therefore that the claims therein are clearly invalid."
"We are confident that the rich history of optical in vivo imaging and the clear sequence of prior art references speak for themselves, and we look forward to continuing the development of all aspects of molecular imaging along with the leadership in the field," Poss added.
Poss told GenomeWeb Daily News that for VisEn, the best possible outcome of the action would be "if the science and the patents reflect only outcomes that were novel at the time of the original invention."
Caliper officials were not available for comment.

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