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BD, Gen-Probe Settle Patent Dispute

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Becton Dickinson said today that it and Hologic's Gen-Probe business have settled a patent dispute, and the company has been granted a license from Gen-Probe to make, use, and sell certain products that BD had been accused of infringing.

BD will make payments to Gen-Probe as part of the settlement, including upfront fees and ongoing royalties. BD did not specify the amounts of the payments but said they are not material to the firm.

It did not provide details about the patents that were in dispute, but in 2009 Gen-Probe sued BD alleging it infringed several patents related to the Tigris molecular diagnostics blood-screening platform. In October the US District Court for the Southern District of California found that BD's ProbeTec Qx CT/GC assays for chlamydia and gonorrhea on the BD Viper system with XTR technology and its GBS assays on the BD Max system infringe three Gen-Probe patents covering automated nucleic acid testing.

Hologic, which acquired Gen-Probe for $3.8 billion in August, also said in October that the court granted summary judgment that BD's specimen collection products used in conjunction with the ProbeTec Qx CT/GC assay infringe another Gen-Probe patent covering penetrable caps.

Left unresolved by the court at the time was whether BD was liable for inducing its customers to infringe Gen-Probe's patents; whether the infringement was willful; monetary damages owed to Gen-Probe; and challenges by BD to Gen-Probe's standing to sue and the validity of the patents.

BD noted that it and Gen-Probe have asked the court to now dismiss the case.

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