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Stratagene Founder Sues Life Technologies; Alleges SOLiD Infringes IP on Oligo Library Method

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This article was originally published July 20.

Catalyst Assets, which manages the intellectual property of Stratagene founder Joseph Sorge, has filed suit against Life Technologies, claiming that the company's SOLiD system infringes its patent.

In a complaint filed this week in the US District Court for the Northern District of California, Catalyst alleges that the SOLiD system infringes US Patent No. 5,858,731, entitled "Oligonucleotide libraries useful for producing primers."

The patent, issued in 1999, was originally assigned to Stratagene, which Agilent Technologies acquired in 2007, and is now owned by Catalyst. The two inventors listed are Joseph Sorge, Stratagene's founder and former president and CEO, and Daniel Shoemaker.

It describes how long primers can be constructed by ligating shorter oligonucleotides with overlapping ends.

Specifically, Catalyst claims that Life Tech infringes claim 18 of the patent, which refers to a specific oligo composition, through the manufacture and sale of probes for dual-base encoding on the SOLiD system.

Catalyst claims that Life Tech's infringement is "willful and deliberate." The company asked the court to declare that Life Tech infringes the patent, to award it damages "in an amount according to proof," attorneys' fees, and costs of the suit.

A Life Tech spokesperson declined to comment on the lawsuit.

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