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USPTO Upholds Patent Claims by Genetic Technologies

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Genetic Technologies today said that it has received an ex parte re-examination certificate from the US Patent and Trademark Office for certain claims related to the company's non-coding DNA patent.

The certificate was issued for the ex parte re-examination of claims 1-18 and 26-32 of US Patent No. 5,612,179 based on a request for re-examination of the claims in April from Merial. GTG is suing Duluth, Ga.-based Merial, alleging infringement of the '179 patent.

In March, USPTO affirmed the validity of certain claims of the patent, but did not re-examine other claims, and as a result, Merial asked USPTO to re-examine claims 1-18 and 26-32 of the '179 patent. Merial had also asked the office to re-examine those claims during the summer of 2012.

GTG said today that USPTO has determined the patentability of claims 1-18 and 26-32 of the '179 patent, and no amendments have been made to the patent.

On Sept. 5, Merial filed another request for USPTO to re-examine the '179 patent. The office is currently reviewing the request, GTG said.

In a statement, GTG CEO Alison Mew said, "Once again, the successful resolution of this, the third re-examination of one of our key patents, reinforces the strength of the company’s non-coding patent portfolio. With the removal of what some potential licensees have apparently used as a reason to delay settlement discussions, we hope that such negotiations will now resume in earnest, with further licenses to our technology then being granted."