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PerkinElmer Sues Intema over Down Syndrome Test IP

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – PerkinElmer last week filed a suit against UK-based Intema seeking to invalidate that firm's US patent covering a Down syndrome test.

The suit, which was filed in the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts, seeks a declaration from the court that one or more of the claims of US Patent No. 6,573,103 are invalid. The patent is entitled, "Antenatal Screening for Down's Syndrome," and was issued in June 2003.

Though a patent infringement suit has not been filed by either party, both of whom sell screening tests for Down syndrome, PerkinElmer believes that actions taken by Intema "have created an objectively reasonable apprehension that Intema will bring suit against Plaintiffs for infringement of the '103 patent."

Intema sent a letter to PerkinElmer in September 2008, in which it accused PerkinElmer's NTD Labs subsidiary of infringing the '103 patent. According to the suit, Intema threatened to 'vigorously enforce the '103 patent against PerkinElmer and its NTD Laboratories subsidiary and seek damages for past infringement.'

While Intema has licensed the patent to Genzyme, LabCorp, and Quest Diagnostics, PerkinElmer has not taken a license to the technology.

In addition to asking the court to invalidate claims of the '103 patent, PerkinElmer is seeking a declaration that it is not infringing any valid and enforceable claims of the patent.

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