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Agilent Technologies, NGK Insulators, Illumina

Agilent Technologies has received US Patent No. 7,159,959, “Methods and systems for detecting errors in printhead pattern data and for preventing erroneous printing.” The patent claims methods, systems, and computer-readable media for identifying print errors caused by erroneous print-pattern data received at the printhead of a printer. Methods, systems, and computer-readable media are also provided for enhancing the printing speed of a system adapted to identify or prevent printing errors. Additionally, methods and systems for providing delayed clocking are used to generate accurate clocking of a printing signal that is sent back from the printhead to the printhead controller for purposes of comparison with a locally stored set of printhead pattern data.

NGK Insulators of Nagoya, Japan, has received US Patent No. 7,160,512, “Method for manufacturing biochips.” The patent claims a biochip manufacturing method that can densely align spots of a plurality of samples in predetermined locations on a substrate using a discharge head equipped with one or more discharge modules. According to the patent, high precision in the operation for densely aligning and fixing droplets with a minute volume on a predetermined substrate can be attained, and the time required for the micro spot-forming operation can be shortened as well.

CyVera (now Illumina) of Wallingford, Conn., has received Patent No. 7,164,533, “Hybrid random bead/chip based microarray.” The patent claims a method and apparatus for performing an assay process featuring microbeads in a solution. According to the patent’s abstract, the method places the microbeads on an alignment substrate, reads codes of the microbeads and their position on the substrate; reading the fluorescence on each microbead and the position order on the alignment substrate; and determines an assay result based on bead position order and bead code of the earlier reading steps. The patent describes the microbead as an encoded particle having a particle substrate that is partially made of material with “at least one diffraction grating” embedded capable of providing an “optical output signal indicative of a code when illuminated by an incident light signal propagating from outside of the substrate.” The optical output signal of the bead is a result of “passive, non-resonant scattering from the grating when illuminated by the incident light signal,” the patent’s abstract adds.

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