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Progenity Asks Court to Declare Non-Infringement of Natera Patents

NEW YORK – Progenity is seeking a declaratory judgment from a court that the in-house use of its Innatal noninvasive prenatal test and related activities do not infringe six patents held by Natera.

In a complaint filed with the US District Court for the Southern District of California, San Diego division on July 2, Progenity said that Natera filed two patent infringement lawsuits against it in June, one in the US District Court for the Western District of Texas, Waco Division, and the other in the US District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division. Both courts are improper venues, it said, because Progenity's principal place of business is in San Diego.

The lawsuits claim that Progenity infringes six of Natera's patents, US Patent No. 9,228,234; US Patent No. 9,424,392; US Patent No. 10,227,652; US Patent No. 10,240,202; US Patent No. 10,266,893; and US Patent No. 10,522,242.

Progenity said the allegations of infringement "are a continuation of Natera's campaign to seek retribution against Progenity for rejecting Natera's technology six years ago and developing its own superior technology that competes with Natera."

In 2013, Natera started providing Progenity with its Panorama noninvasive prenatal test under a service agreement, according to the complaint, but the test did not meet Progenity's quality expectations and it ended the agreement in 2014.

Progenity also developed its own cell-free DNA NIPT, called Innatal, which it launched in 2015. The assay uses molecular inversion probe technology and was described in a journal study in 2019, it noted, and is protected by a patent owned by Progenity, US Patent No. 10,464,245.

According to Progenity, the differences between its Innatal test and the Natera patents "reflect Progenity's inventive, innovative efforts to increase the precision on cfDNA prenatal testing."

Progenity asked the court for a declaratory judgment that the firm does not infringe Natera's patents.

"We are confident that we will prevail in this suit, should it proceed," a spokesperson for Natera said in a statement.

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