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UK Court Orders Advanced Cell Diagnostics to Pay Molecular Instruments £1.35M, Dismisses Claims

NEW YORK – Molecular Instruments said Tuesday that the Patents Court of the High Court of England and Wales has dismissed Advanced Cell Diagnostics' infringement claims against the firm and has ordered ACD, a Bio-Techne group company, to pay Molecular Instruments £1.35 million ($1.72 million). 

The decision comes about a month after the court invalidated two of ACD's European patents that were at the heart of the case. 

In 2022, ACD alleged that Molecular Instruments' HCR RNA-ISH technology infringed the two patents, No. 2,500,439 and No. 1,910,572, which cover methods for detecting and testing nucleic acids and individual rare cells. The two patents formed the basis of ACD's RNAscope in situ hybridization technology. 

The same week the UK court invalidated the patents, Bio-Techne sued Molecular Instruments for infringement of the same two patents in the EU Unified Patent Court in the Netherlands. 

"We are pleased that the UK matter is now concluded," Molecular Instruments CEO Harry Choi said in a statement. "We fought this lawsuit as a matter of principle so that the UK researchers whose projects depend on the unmatched capabilities of HCR RNA-ISH could continue their research."

The firm's HCR RNA-ISH technology uses nanotechnology to enable small amplification components to penetrate a biological sample without interacting and autonomously grow bright amplification polymers at the site of RNA targets within the sample, the company noted. 

David Clair, Bio-Techne's VP of investor relations and corporate development, said via email that with litigation in the UK, a prevailing party is awarded fees on the issues where it prevailed. "In this case, the parties negotiated and reached a compromise on the costs to be awarded given that each party prevailed on more than one claim," Clair added.

"ACD will continue to protect its intellectual property and commercial investments and, to that effect, continues to pursue an additional lawsuit against Molecular Instruments in Europe’s Unified Patent Court," he said. 

Clair noted that the UK decision will "not be precedential" in the European case.