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The suit is the second that Life Tech has filed in as many weeks. It is also the second suit filed recently claiming that Illumina's Genome Analyzer infringes DNA amplification IP.

Life Technologies claims that Biosearch is infringing five patents related to fluorescent probes used in real-time PCR.

The USPTO said that since the co-assignees of the Tuschl-I IP “have divergent interests, no one side can reasonably expect or be permitted to control the prosecution of [the] patent application [at issue] to the exclusion of the others.”

Alnylam’s request to stay the suit, which was submitted jointly with the USPTO, asked the court to suspend the case until a ruling is made on an appeal in a separate but similar patent-term suit filed by Wyeth and Elan Pharma against the patent office.

The court determined that Alnylam and Max Planck have “not shown a substantial likelihood of success” on the merits of their case.

UMass further argued in its counterclaim that a key aspect of the disputed RNAi technology — the 3’ overhangs commonly incorporated into siRNAs — was an inherent feature of the RNAi molecules described in a patent application filed prior to another patent application from Max Planck that specifically claims the overhangs.

The plaintiffs' counsel also provided some background on the legal dispute, including details of an early-2004 meeting between the chief executives of Alnylam and rival Sirna Therapeutics that led up to the litigation.

The suit is filed against the US Patent and Trademark Office's acting director and charges that the adjusted term of one of Alnylam's patents was inappropriately cut short by roughly a year and a half.

Additional court documents filed by Alnylam and Max Planck indicate that the inclusion of 3' overhang data in Tuschl-I patent applications is a primary issue in the legal dispute.

In doing so, the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of Massachusetts have all asked that the court reject Alnylam Pharmaceuticals and Max Planck's request for an order blocking any Tuschl-I patent issuance.

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The UK has given emergency authorization for Pfizer and BioNTech's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, the Associated Press reports.

A US advisory committee says healthcare workers and nursing home residents should be prioritized to receive a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, according to the Financial Times.

The Wall Street Journal reports North Korean hackers have targeted half a dozen companies developing SARS-CoV-2 vaccines.

In Cell this week: long-term SARS-CoV-2 shedding, examination of the effects of a coronavirus spike protein mutation, and more.