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Court Issues Claim Construction Order in Illumina's Suit Against Complete Genomics

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This story was originally published Feb. 16.

Illumina said last week that the US District Court for the Northern District of California has issued a claim construction order in litigation brought by Illumina against Complete Genomics.

A claim construction order is a legal procedure in which a judge sets the definition of terms that comprise the patent claims.

According to Illumina, the order adopts constructions that are "favorable" for the "key terms of the dispute."

Illumina sued Complete Genomics two years ago alleging that the firm infringes three of its patents: US Patents Nos. 6,306,597; 7,232,656; and 7,598,035 (IS 8/10/2010).

The case was originally filed in the District of Delaware, but was moved to the Northern District of California and assigned to a magistrate judge after Compete Genomics filed a countersuit requesting the move, denying infringement, and claiming that the three patents are invalid or unenforceable (IS 12/21/2010).

The recent claim construction order addresses only the '597 patent, titled "DNA sequencing by parallel oligonucleotide extensions," which addresses methods in which an "initializing oligonucleotide is hybridized to a target polynucleotide, a labeled nucleotide probe is ligated to the initializing oligonucleotide to form an extended duplex, and one or more nucleotides of the polynucleotide are identified based on the label associated with the probe."

In its countersuit, Complete Genomics said it does not perform these steps, and moreover that the patent is invalid because it is anticipated by an earlier patent application (IS 10/5/2010).

But, according to Illumina, the recent claim construction order adopts interpretations that "affirm the breadth of the patent and Illumina's position that Complete Genomics
infringes the patent."

Illumina is seeking lost profits, reasonable royalty, and a permanent injunction in its suit.

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