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Enzo Biochem Claims Favorable USPTO Decision in Patent Dispute with Bayer

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Enzo Biochem today said that the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences of the US Patent and Trademark Office has entered judgment in its favor against Bayer HealthCare in a dispute over patents covering nucleic acid signal amplification.

Specifically, the dispute centers on US Patent No. 5,124,246, titled "Nucleic acid multimers and amplified nucleic acid hybridization assays using same," which is held by Bayer. The patent was filed by Chiron, who was subsequently acquired by Bayer, in 1989 and issued in June 1992.

Enzo said in a statement that it filed its patent application on its signal amplification technology in May 1983.

The USPTO had declared a patent interference in August 2006, in an effort to determine who made the invention first. Enzo said that the diagnostics division of Bayer, which was acquired by Siemens in July 2006, sells the Versant Branched DNA assays, which Enzo claims utilizes the technology covered by its patent.

"Subject to any requests for rehearing or appeals that Bayer might file, the effect of this judgment is that Enzo will receive a full 17-year patent for all the inventions covered by its claims, which term will commence on the date of issuance of the patent," Enzo said in a statement.

The firm did not say whether it plans to file any legal actions against Bayer as a result of the USPTO's ruling.

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