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Fluidigm, ABI Agree to Drop Legal Skirmish

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Fluidigm and Life Technologies' Applied Biosystems business have agreed to end legal actions against each other related to Fluidigm's BioMark System, a Fluidigm spokesperson told GenomeWeb Daily Newstoday.

The firms agreed to dismiss the case, which was filed by Fluidigm against ABI in June 2008, last week, according to court documents. Howard High, the Fluidigm spokesman, told GWDN that the agreement does not include the exchange of any money or any licensing of products.

Fluidigm's lawsuit sought a declaration from the US District Court for the Southern District of New York that its technology did not infringe ABI's patent, US No. 6,814,934. The patent is entitled “Instrument for Monitoring Nucleic Acid Amplification” and was issued to ABI in November 2004.

The suit was in response to a letter it had received from ABI demanding that the firm “immediately cease and desist from the manufacture, importation, use, sale, and offer of sale of [Fluidigm’s] BioMark System for Genetic Analysis” in jurisdictions in which ABI’s patent is valid.

"As we got into the prep for the trial activity we found that the two companies had some mutually interesting product opportunities, and exploring those opportunities was difficult with litigation pending between the two of us," said High. "So, we basically decided to end it."

However, he said the firms have reserved the right to pursue legal action in the future, under the agreement.

Fluidigm's BioMark System was initially launched in 2006. Last year, the firm rolled out a new version of the system, which is configured to run 96 samples against 96 primer-probe sets and can be used to conduct both gene expression and genotyping experiments.