Though Affymetrix and Illumina aren't slated to face each other in court for another six months, a special hearing scheduled to take place this week may ultimately determine who wins the companies' patent-infringement suit (see BAN 8/24/2005).

Attorneys for the two array companies are expected to meet on Thursday in the US District Court in Wilmington, Del., for a Markman hearing, a key event in patent-infringement cases in which the presiding judge gets the final say in defining the scope of the claims involved in the lawsuit.

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