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Life Tech’s IP-infringement Suit Against Illumina to Go to Trial in July 2011

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By Julia Karow

This article was originally published Nov. 12.

Life Technologies and Illumina’s nex-gen sequencing patent-infringement suit is set to go to trial in July 2011, according to a recent scheduling order by the court.

The court set the date Oct. 30 after a phone conference between lawyers for the two parties, which includes plaintiffs Life Technologies, Applied Biosystems, the Institute for Protein Research, and three individuals; and defendants Illumina and Solexa. The trial is expected to last at least two weeks.

The legal quarrel started in September, when Life Technologies and its co-plaintiffs sued Illumina and Solexa for alleged infringement by the Genome Analyzer of three DNA amplification patents exclusively licensed by ABI (see In Sequence 9/29/2009).

Last month, in its response to Life Tech's complaint, Illumina countersued, claiming that Life Tech's SOLiD system infringes four of its patents regarding sample preparation, data gathering, and genome analysis (see In Sequence 10/20/2009).

According to the scheduling order, the deadline for additional parties to join the suit, and for most amendments, is Jan. 29, 2010. Amendments of "pleadings regarding inequitable conduct defenses" must be made by June 18, 2010.

A claim construction hearing will be held sometime in April 2010. Fact discovery needs to be completed by July 16, 2010, and expert discovery by Dec. 17 of that year.

The parties expect that they may be able to narrow the issues "by way of stipulation or agreement" as the case proceeds, according to the document.

Both parties are seeking a jury trial, and are open to settlement discussions "at any appropriate time during this litigation."

In addition, the parties agreed to a number of rules regarding the discovery phase, such as limitations on the number and length of fact depositions, on interrogatories, document requests, protection of sensitive business information, and electronic discovery.

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