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Cornell, Life Tech Say Illumina's Array Products Infringe Their IP


By Justin Petrone

Cornell University and Life Technologies have sued Illumina, claiming that a variety of the firm's research instruments and other products infringe eight patents held by Cornell and exclusively licensed to Life Technologies.

The suit claims that Illumina's GoldenGate genotyping assay, DASL Assay, Sentrix Array Matrix, BeadXpress products, iScan, and HiScanSQ, among others, infringe eight Cornell patents. Seven of the eight patents cover claims related to PCR methods, while one patent contains claims on instruments.

"Illumina's infringing activities include, without limitation, the making, using, selling and offering to sell instruments, reagents, kits and services to perform the Illumina GoldenGate genotyping assay and the Illumina DASL assay," as well as services using those instruments, according to the complaint, which was filed in the US District Court for the District of Delaware last week.

The eight patents at the center of the case are US Nos. 6,797,470; 7,083,917; 7,166,434; 7,312,039; 7,320,865; 7,332,285; 7,364,858; and 7,429,453. The patents all relate to detecting nucleic acid sequences using coupled ligase detection and PCR.

The lead inventor on all eight patents is Francis Barany, a professor of microbiology and immunology at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York. All eight patents were awarded to Cornell between 2004 and 2008.

Cornell and Life Technologies have asked the court to judge that that Illumina has infringed the patents in the suit, that Illumina be restrained and enjoined from infringing the patents, and for unspecified damages and costs. Illumina has not publicly discussed the suit.