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Enzo Files IP Infringement Suit Against Affy, Agilent, and Illumina

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Enzo Life Sciences is suing Affymetrix, Agilent Technologies, and Illumina for patent infringement, alleging that the three firms' microarray and sequencing products infringe a patent Enzo was awarded six years ago.

Farmingdale, NY-based Enzo last week filed three separate suits against the vendors in the US District Court for the District of Delaware. In each complaint, Enzo alleges the defendants infringed US Patent No. 7,064,197, "System, array and non-porous solid support comprising fixed or immobilized nucleic acids." Enzo received the patent in 2006. The lead inventor is Enzo Chairman, Founder, and CEO Elazar Rabbani.

In its suit against Affymetrix, Enzo alleges that the firm's products based on its GeneChip technology, such as its SNP 6.0 Array, as well as its Axiom Genotyping Solution array plates and GeneAtlas array strips, infringe its IP.

Also, Enzo alleges that Affy had "knowledge of the inventions" in the patent, citing communications between the two firms regarding a distribution pact for Affy's GeneChip products. Enzo also claims that the infringement has been "willful."

According to Affy's most recent 10-K filing with the US Securities and Exchanges Commission, it served as a non-exclusive distributor for some of Enzo's reagent kits between 1998 and 2003. The termination of that deal spurred a lawsuit, now in its ninth year, that has still not been settled.

In its case against Agilent, Enzo cites that firm's menu of nucleic acid arrays based on its SurePrint technology, including its CGH arrays, ChIP-on-Chip arrays, CGH+SNP arrays, CNV arrays, methylation arrays, expression arrays, and microRNA arrays as infringing products.

According to its complaint against Illumina, the company infringes by selling products based on its BeadArray technology, including its Omni family of arrays, as well as its menu of Infinium BeadChips and "sequencing products including flow cells," such as its TruSeq and MiSeq reagent kits.

In all three complaints, Enzo is seeking damages to compensate it for the alleged infringement, an injunction preventing the firms from infringing the patent, and "further relief at law or equity that the court deems just and proper." Should an injunction against future infringement not be granted, Enzo is seeking a compulsory, ongoing licensing fee.

Enzo is seeking jury trials in all cases.

The case is the second Enzo has filed against rival vendors this year. In January, it filed a suit against Gen-Probe, Life Technologies, and Roche for infringing another one of its patents.

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