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Progenity, Natera Jointly Request Dismissal of Patent Litigation

NEW YORK – Natera and Progenity made a joint motion on Monday for an order of injunction and dismissal in regard to a complaint for declaratory judgment that was originally filed by Progenity against Natera in July 2020.

Last year, Progenity filed a complaint with the US District Court for the Southern District of California, San Diego division, seeking a declaratory judgment that the in-house use of its Innatal noninvasive prenatal test and related activities did not infringe six patents held by Natera.

Natera had filed two patent infringement lawsuits against Progenity in June 2020, one in the US District Court for the Western District of Texas, Waco Division, and the other in the US District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division. Progenity had declared both courts to be improper venues because the company's principal place of business is in San Diego.

The lawsuits claimed that Progenity infringed six of Natera's patents, US Patent No. 9,228,234; US Patent No. 9,424,392; US Patent No. 10,227,652; US Patent No. 10,240,202; US Patent No. 10,266,893; and US Patent No. 10,522,242. However, Progenity said that the allegations of infringement "are a continuation of Natera's campaign to seek retribution against Progenity for rejecting Natera's technology six years ago and developing its own superior technology that competes with Natera."

In 2013, Natera started providing Progenity with its Panorama noninvasive prenatal test under a service agreement, according to the complaint, but the test did not meet Progenity's quality expectations, and it ended the agreement in 2014. Progenity then developed Innatal, its own cell-free DNA NIPT, in 2015.

The joint motion for injunction and dismissal filed by the two companies on Monday relates to the six patents in the original suit. Under the terms of the dismissal order, until the expiration of the latest-expiring patent in the group, Progenity would be enjoined from commercialization, performance, or outbound transfer of the Innatal 2 assay, unless specifically authorized by Natera.

The assay was described in a September 2019 study in the Journal of Medical Screening, the joint motion noted.

Progenity had no comment on the joint motion. Natera has not returned a request for comment.

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