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LabCorp's Esoterix Files Patent Infringement Suit Against Life Technologies

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Esoterix Genetic Laboratories has filed a suit against Life Technologies alleging that the firm and its Applied Biosystems and Ion Torrent businesses infringe three patents held by Esoterix.

Esoterix, a Burlington, NC-based subsidiary of Laboratory Corporation of America, filed the suit last week in the US District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina. It claims that Life Technologies and its businesses are selling a variety of products which infringe three patents held by Esoterix: US Patent Nos. 5,670,325; 5,882,856; and 6,207,372.

The '325 patent covers methods for detecting certain cells, cancer, lesions, or a change in a biological sample or tissue. The '856 and '372 patents relate to DNA primers and methods for detecting and amplifying DNA sequences and related products.

According to Esoterix, Life Technologies through the sale of products such as the Applied Biosystems SOLiD and 5500 Genetic Analyzer, the Ion Torrent Personal Genome Machine and Ion Proton sequencer, and the OpenArray system, is infringing the patents.

"The PGM and Ion AmpliSeq Cancer panel employs emulsion PCR which utilizes DNA primers that allow for multiplex DNA amplification," Esoterix said the suit. "These activities and others directly infringe the '325 patent, the '856 patent, and the '372 patent."

Esoterix claims that Life Technologies is directly infringing and inducing direct infringement through the sale of several of its systems, reagents, and software. In addition, Esoterix claims that prior to its lawsuit, Life Technologies had inquired about a possible license to the '325 patent from Exact Sciences, from whom Esoterix had obtained the patent. Esoterix said that this shows Life Technologies had knowledge of the patents-in-suit during the times relevant to the lawsuit.

It has asked the court to enter a judgment that Life Technologies has directly infringed the patents, has induced the infringement of each of the patents, and has contributed to that infringement. It also has asked the court to grant a permanent injunction against Life Technologies from directly or indirectly infringing the patents, award damages to Esoterix to compensate for the infringement, award prejudgment interest, and award treble damages due to Life Technologies' alleged willful infringement.

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