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Life Tech, ABI Dismiss Patent-Infringement Suit Against GenMark Diagnostics

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Life Technologies and its Applied Biosystems group have dismissed their patent-infringement lawsuit against GenMark Diagnostics related to a multiplex, PCR-based polynucleotide-capture method, GenMark said today.

GenMark noted that the suit was dismissed before GenMark filed any responsive pleadings.

The suit, filed Nov. 19, 2010, in the US District Court for the Southern District of California, had alleged that GenMark infringed US Patent No. 6,514,699, entitled "Multiplex polynucleotide capture methods and compositions."

The patent was originally awarded in 2003 to Applied Biosystems predecessor PE Corporation, and relates to methods and compositions for "simultaneously generating a plurality of polynucleotide sequencing ladders or PCR amplification products … generated from … an oligonucleotide primer comprising a recovery tag," according to its abstract.

The patent also states that the uniquely tagged sequencing ladders can then be separated by binding to compounds immobilized on a solid support; and then released from those binding compounds and resolved into individual components. Such methods may be used to separate multiple simultaneously generated polynucleotide amplification products, the patent's abstract states.

Life Tech and Applied Biosystems had claimed that GenMark was infringing the patent through the manufacture and sale of certain nucleic acid analysis products, including GenMark's eSensor system, cartridges, and reagents.

It had also claimed that GenMark was "knowingly and actively" encouraging customers to practice one or more claims of the patent by, for example, instructing and providing technical support to customers to using certain eSensor products for multiplex molecular diagnostic tests.

GenMark, based in Pasadena, Calif., was created last March when its predecessor, London-based Osmetech, filed for an initial public offering of stock in the US under the GenMark name. As part of the transaction, Osmetech reorganized to become a wholly owned subsidiary of GenMark. The company, which raised $27.6 million in its IPO in early June, now trades on the Nasdaq exchange under the symbol "GNMK."

GenMark has been commercializing various molecular diagnostic products utilizing the eSensor technology and XT-8 platform, including a test for warfarin sensitivity.

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