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USPTO Upholds Patentability of Genetic Technologies' IP

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Genetic Technologies announced today it received a further 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 Australian firm said that the certificate follows the third request for ex parte re-examination by Duluth, Ga.-based Merial of claims 1-15, 17, 18, 26-29, and 32 of US Patent No. 5,612,179. In the certificate, the USPTO confirms the patentability of all the claims, and no amendments were made to the '179 patent, GTG said.

Merial made the request to the USPTO in 2012 to re-examine the claims of the patent after GTG sued Merial alleging infringement. In March 2013, USPTO affirmed the validity of certain claims of the '179 patent, while other claims were not re-examined. Merial then made another request to USPTO for re-examination, which the office granted in April 2013.

In late September the USPTO upheld the patentability of claims 1-18 and 26-32 of the '179 patent. Before that, Merial filed another request for USPTO to re-examine the '179 patent.

"[G]iven some potential licensees have used the pending re-examination to delay settlement discussions, we expect that good faith negotiations will now resume in earnest," GTG Acting CEO Tom Howitt said in a statement today.