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Illumina Files Two Lawsuits in Europe Claiming NIPT Patent Infringement

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Illumina announced today that it has filed two patent infringements lawsuits against five companies in Europe over their use of noninvasive prenatal tests that Illumina claims violate its intellectual property protections.

Illumina filed suit in the UK against The Doctors Laboratory, TDL Genetics, and Ariosa Diagnostics, alleging that The Doctors Laboratory's and TDL Genetics' use of the Harmony NIPT tests supplied by Ariosa infringe on Illumina's European Patent 0 994 963.

The company further alleges that two companies in Poland — Centrum Badan and Medgenetix — are using Premaitha Health's Iona NIPT test in violation of Illumina's European Patent 2 183 693.

The patents both use cell-free fetal DNA for NIPT testing, Illumina said in a statement.

The firm originally sued Premaitha in March 2015 in the UK over the Iona test, and sued Ariosa in May 2015 in the US over its Harmony NIPT test. In both cases, Illumina has alleged that several of its patents have been infringed. In Ariosa's case, the firm added, the infringement "has been willful and deliberate."

In March, Illumina Senior Vice President and General Counsel Charles Dadswell said in a statement that his company's suits were meant to "actively defend" its IP rights, adding, "We will also continue to monitor the NIPT field and file patent suits where appropriate when our patents are infringed."

The company added it is seeking damages and injunctive relief, but didn't specify its demands.