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10X Genomics Founders Prevail in Arbitration Dispute With Bio-Rad

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Three co-founders of 10X Genomics have prevailed in an arbitration dispute brought against them by Bio-Rad Laboratories, 10X Genomics said today.

According to 10X, Bio-Rad brought a claim before the American Arbitration Association in September of 2014, alleging that the three company founders — Serge Saxonov, Benjamin Hindson, and Kevin Ness — had breached certain contractual non-compete, non-solicitation, and confidentiality obligations they allegedly owed to Bio-Rad after it acquired Quantalife in 2011, where all three worked at the time.

The arbitrator denied all of Bio-Rad's claims and determined that none of the founders had breached their obligations to Bio-Rad, according to 10X. He also found that they are entitled to seek repayment of their attorneys' fees and costs associated with the arbitration, which they intend to seek immediately.

"The arbitrator’s ruling validates our firm belief that Bio-Rad’s motivation in bringing this action was not based upon any legal merit," Saxonov said in a statement. "We are very proud of the innovation and product development that our teams have developed at 10X and are pleased by our early commercial success."

10X's GemCode platform allows users to obtain long-range genomic information from short sequence reads.

In addition to the arbitration, the company has been battling two lawsuits regarding its intellectual property.

Bio-Rad filed suit against 10X Technologies — now called 10X Genomics — in September 2014 in the Superior Court of California, County of Contra Costa, claiming that it owns intellectual property described in patent applications by 10X, and that 10X officials misappropriated trade secrets from Bio-Rad.

According to a 10X spokesperson, that case was stayed, pending the outcome of the arbitration, as both are based on essentially the same allegations. "If, following the outcome of the arbitration, the other case even moves forward, we would expect to prevail there as well," the spokesperson told GenomeWeb via email.

In addition, RainDance Technologies sued the company earlier this year in the US District Court for the District of Delaware, accusing 10X of infringing six of its patents. That lawsuit is still ongoing.