Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

European Patent Court Issues Preliminary Injunction Against Curio Bioscience in Three Countries

This story has been updated to clarify that only Curio's Seeker product is the subject of the UPC order and to include additional comment from Curio.

NEW YORK – The European Unified Patent Court (UPC) on Tuesday issued a preliminary injunction against Curio Bioscience in a patent infringement case brought by 10x Genomics that presents a hurdle to sales of Curio's Seeker spatial mapping kit in France, Germany, and Sweden.

However, Curio said in a statement that it "has a version of Seeker that does not infringe ... and is available for order now" and that it "will continue commercializing Seeker in these three countries without interruption."

In its order, the UPC Local Division in Düsseldorf, Germany, found that Curio's Seeker spatial biology platform likely infringes claim 14 of European Patent No. 2,697,391, held by 10x Genomics. The claim protects "an array for use in the localized detection of nucleic acid in a tissue sample comprising cells." The court ordered Curio "not to offer any product that would violate" that claim in those countries.

The court also said that it could not establish indirect infringement of claim 1 of the patent by Curio, as alleged by 10x.

Curio said it considered the order a "win," noting that claim 1 was "the broadest and main spatial transcriptomics claim of the '391 patent" while claim 14 is "narrow in scope."

"[The ruling] does not prevent us from commercializing Seeker even in these three countries," Curio said. "In fact, the UPC simply ordered us not to sell a version of Seeker that practices specifically claim 14 . So we won't." How this alternative version of Seeker technology works and how it is different from the technology targeted by the order isn't clear; Curio declined to provide additional detail. 

The firm said it "will comply with the order and expects no impact to its commercial business," adding that the ruling "is restricted to the three countries mentioned and does not affect Curio's activities elsewhere, nor does it impact other Curio products."

10x also framed the decision as a victory. "We are pleased with the UPC's decision, which helps protect our continued investments in innovation for the scientific community," a 10x spokesperson said in an email.

10x has sued Curio in the US and in Europe alleging infringement of several of its patents. In the UPC, 10x is alleging infringement of IP acquired when it bought Spatial Transcriptomics, a spinout of Sweden's SciLifeLab.

Curio's Seeker platform is based on the Slide-seq spatial transcriptomics method developed by the Broad Institute's Fei Chen and Evan Macosko. The firm is based in Palo Alto, California.

If Curio is found to have contravened the order, it faces a penalty of €100,000 ($106,861) per day.

The court noted that the order is enforceable, but only once 10x "has provided security in favor of [Curio] in the form of a deposit or bank guarantee in the amount of €2 million."