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Federal Appeals Court Upholds Finding that Affymetrix, Navigenics Did Not Infringe MIT Patent

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has upheld a lower court's ruling that Affymetrix and Life Technologies' Navigenics business did not infringe a patent held by E8 Pharmaceuticals and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The court issued its ruling last week saying it was based "solely on our agreement with the district court's construction of the phrase 'randomly primed PCR-derived RCG.' We do not reach any other issues raised on appeal."

The plaintiffs, E8 and MIT, sued Affy in July 2008 in US District Court for the District of Massachusetts alleging Affy infringed US Patent No. 6,703,228 titled "Methods and products related to genotyping and DNA analysis." The patent was issued to MIT in 2004. MIT later licensed it to E8.

The plaintiffs added Navigenics in 2009 as a defendant in the litigation, claiming that that company infringed the patent by using Affy's arrays in its services. Life Tech acquired Navigenics in July 2012 but was not named as a defendant in the case.

The Massachusetts court dismissed E8 from the suit in 2010 after finding it had no standing in the case, and last year MIT sought dismissal of the case after the court ruled against the defendants in a claim construction case. In September 2012, the court issued a judgment of non-infringement on MIT's claims, while it also dismissed counterclaims by Affy and Navigenics.

E8 and MIT then appealed to the CAFC on the lower court's 2010 dismissal of E8 for lack of standing and its claim construction order, as BioArray News reported previously.

Affy and MIT have had a long-standing dispute. Shortly after MIT was granted the '228 patent, Affy filed a patent application claiming priority to an earlier 1994 application. In March 2005, Affy asserted the patentability and ownership of the method claims in the '228 patent in new claims filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office.

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