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Patent Watch: Mar 8, 2002


Protein chip startup Nanotype of Munich has received German Patent Number DE0010051143A1, “Process and Platform (or Apparatus) for the Characterization and/or the Detection of Binding Complexes”.

The process the patent describes consists of the following steps: 1) Providing a first binding partner and a conjugate of a second and third binding partner, as well as provision of a fourth binding partner; 2) forming a linkage between the binding partners, where the first binding partner forms a probe complex with the second, and the third forms a reference complex with the fourth; 3) applying a force to the linked complexes which leads to the separation of the probe complex or the reference complex; and 4) determining which of the two binding complexes has been separated.

The patent broadly covers the company’s C-Fit technology, which uses a nanoscale detection device, a nanotech version of an atomic force microscope, to detect forces between molecules as a method to detect binding between the probe and the target molecule. The patent’s claims describe the entire platform as well as applications in nucleic acid, protein, and small-molecule assays.

Nanotype, which is currently collaborating with fellow Munich-based company Xerion Pharmaceuticals to develop a human nerve cell protein chip using its C-Fit platform, plans to secure patents in the US and other countries, and is also preparing to submit a paper to a scientific journal on the details of C-Fit, the company said.


The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has handed Stratagene a victory in an ongoing patent dispute sparked by Invitrogen, Stratagene said. The court’s judgment, which upholds an earlier decision by a Maryland District Court, allows Stratagene to continue marketing its RNase H minus reverse transcriptase enzyme. Invitrogen filed suit against Stratagene on June 29, 2000, saying that its StrataScript RT RNase product infringed on Invitrogen’s patent No. 6,063,608, and later asking the Maryland court to cease and desist its marketing efforts for the product, Stratagene said. Four months later, the court denied the request.

“The appellate Court’s decision ensures Stratagene’s ability to continue its rightful place in the RT market,” the company said in a brief statement.

Invitrogen has also sued Strategene for infringement of patents related to its competent cell products.

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