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UK Court Finds Two Advanced Cell Diagnostics Patents Invalid in Case Against Molecular Instruments

NEW YORK – The Patents Court of the High Court of England and Wales has declared two patents held by Advanced Cell Diagnostics (ACD), a business of Bio-Techne, to be invalid. The patents are at the heart of two infringement suits ACD filed against Molecular Instruments in the UK and Europe.

In one suit, filed in the UK in 2022, ACD alleged that Molecular Instruments' HCR 3.0 technology infringes its European patents No. 2,500,439 and No. 1,910,572, which cover methods for detecting and assaying nucleic acids and individual rare cells. The two patents underlie ACD's RNAscope in situ hybridization technology.

Bio-Techne had sought damages and an injunction against Molecular Instruments in the UK.

Earlier this week, Bio-Techne sued Molecular Instruments in the EU United Patent Court in the Netherlands for allegedly infringing those same patents.

"We felt compelled to fight this lawsuit to protect the ability of our customers to continue their research, as many customers working in challenging imaging settings cannot perform their experiments with any other technology," Molecular Instruments CEO Harry Choi said in a statement. "This judgment in our favor ensures that UK researchers will not be denied access to our game-changing HCR imaging platform."

"ACD disagrees with this decision and is considering its options for appeal," a spokesperson for Bio-Techne said via email. "It’s worth noting that the Patents Court of the High Court of England and Wales did in fact find that Molecular Instruments would have infringed ACD’s intellectual property had it been found valid.  ACD will continue to protect its intellectual property and commercial investments and, to that effect, has just filed an additional lawsuit against Molecular Instruments in Europe’s Unified Patent Court." 

Bio-Techne noted that the Unified Patent Court covers multiple countries within the European Union and that the UK decision will not be precedential in that case.