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US Appeals Court Lifts Injunction on 10x Genomics' Linked-Reads, Single-Cell CNV Assays

This story has been updated to include comments from Bio-Rad Laboratories.

NEW YORK – A US appeals court has lifted a permanent injunction against two products from 10x Genomics that a jury had found infringed patents held by Bio-Rad Laboratories: the Chromium Single-Cell CNV Solution and the discontinued Linked-Reads assay.

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit vacated the injunction for those two products in an opinion filed Monday, while upholding the injunction for 10x's older GEM chip products. They are the only two products covered by the original injunction that 10x has not yet designed a non-infringing alternative for.

The court also determined that the US District Court for the District of Delaware had erred in constructing claims for two of the three patents at suit and ordered a new trial to determine whether 10x's products infringe those patents.

A District Court decision to deny 10x's motion to overturn the jury verdict as a matter of law was upheld, and the jury's finding of infringement of the remaining patent and $24 million in damages awarded to Bio-Rad were affirmed.

"The ruling relates to our legacy products and does not impact our NextGem product line, which is the majority of our business today," a 10x Genomics spokesperson said in an email. "We are reviewing our options on next steps." The firm has no plans to change its decision to discontinue linked-reads assay at this time, the spokesperson added.

"We are pleased that the Appeals Court upheld the District Court's finding that 10x willfully infringed Bio-Rad's intellectual property rights and affirmed the jury's award of damages,” Bio-Rad President and CEO Norman Schwartz said in a statement.

RainDance Technologies, which was acquired by Bio-Rad in 2017, originally filed suit in 2015 alleging that 10x's GemCode and Chromium products infringed three patents licensed from the University of Chicago. The case is just one of several in the ongoing legal dispute between 10x and Bio-Rad. Just in the last year, Bio-Rad has also alleged that 10x's new NextGEM products also infringe certain Bio-Rad patents, while 10x countersued in that case in May.

Bio-Rad also prevailed over 10x in a German court case centered on intellectual property related to single-cell analysis, while 10x has received favorable determinations in patent infringement proceedings before the US International Trade Commission. 

Meanwhile, Bio-Rad's acquisition of single-cell technology firm Celsee in April has added another front to the fight: 10x sued Celsee in May 2019 alleging patent infringement.