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Illumina, Illumavista Settle Trademark Infringement Suit


Illumina has asked a federal court to dismiss a six-month-old trademark infringement lawsuit against Illumavista Biosciences following an apparent out-of-court settlement.

The San Diego firm filed a notice of dismissal on May 9 with the US District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, according to court documents. Illumina said it had been discussing a settlement with on Madison, Wis.-based Illumavista in several other documents.

"The parties continue to work diligently toward a settlement of this matter, and we believe that the parties will work in good faith to finalize a settlement agreement in the near future," Illumina attorneys reported in a March 27 letter to the court.

It is unclear what the outcome of the litigation is. Illumavista continues to do business using that name, according to its website, and emails and calls to its founders seeking an explanation were not returned.

Illumina filed suit againt Illumavista in November, alleging trademark infringement, unfair competition, and false designation or origin (BAN 12/4/2012). In its initial complaint, Illumina argued that Illumavista had "deliberately and willfully" used that name to "pass its SNAP microarray technology and bioinformatics data analysis services off as those of Illumina."

Illumavista markets its array platform as SNAP, which stands for specificity and affinity for proteins. The arrays are tiled to survey every possible binding site in the genome, according to the firm's website, resulting in fluorescence intensities that correlate to solution-binding affinities for each sequence, allowing users to predict where a molecule will bind in the genome.

The National Institutes of Health has awarded the company $370,000 to support several projects (BAN 11/15/2012). The company introduced services on the SNAP platform in 2011.

Illumina has recently been involved in a separate case that referenced trademarks. In its IP infringement suit against Illumina, Syntrix Biosystems noted similarities between its name and some Illumina products.

Syntrix Founder and CEO John Zebala noted in an email to BioArray News last month that Illumina has sold products "marketed under the name 'Sentrix,' a one-letter variation of the name Syntrix, including the 'Sentrix BeadChip.'"

A couple of weeks ago, Syntrix won about $115 million in royalties and damages in that case, which was prosecuted in the US District Court for the Western District of Washington. Illumina has vowed to appeal the judgment (BAN 6/25/2013).