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Life Technologies Files IP Infringement Suit Against Promega

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Life Technologies last week filed a lawsuit against Promega alleging infringement of a US patent covering oligonucleotide labeling methods and compositions.

The suit was filed in the US District Court, Central District of California, Western Division and alleged that Promega is infringing US Patent Re-issue No. 43,096, titled, "Tagged Extendable Primers and Extension Products." The patent is a re-issue of US Patent No. 6,200,748 and covers the use of fluorescence to label oligonucleotides in genetic assays.

The '748 patent was previously at the center of litigation between Promega and Life Tech predecessor Applera. That litigation ended in a settlement and cross-licensing agreement, under which Promega had agreed to pay royalties on certain licensed products.

After the US Patent and Trademark Office re-issued the '096 patent, Life Tech sent a letter to Promega informing the Madison, Wis.-based firm of the re-issue and "requesting that it honor the terms of the cross-license agreement," Life Tech said in its court filing last week.

It said that Promega products, including the PowerPlex, StemElite, and CellID products, utilize fluorescent-tagged oligonucleotides in genetic assays and are covered by the '096 re-issued patent. However, it said that Promega refuses to pay any royalties.

Life Tech said that Promega also has induced customers to infringe the patent and claimed that Promega's infringement has been willful. As a result, it has asked the court to order Promega to pay damages for infringing the '096 patent, to treble the damages for willful infringement, to pay all of Life Tech's attorneys' fees and costs associated with the litigation, and to enjoin Promega from further infringement.

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