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Supreme Court Passes on Life Technologies' Appeal of Enzo Lawsuit

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The Supreme Court will not hear an appeal by Life Technologies to a lawsuit from Enzo Biochem alleging patent infringement.

The decision rendered by the court today allows Enzo's lawsuit, filed in 2004 with Yale University, to move forward. According to Bloomberg News article today, Life Tech had argued unsuccessfully that the patents being disputed were not specific enough in their description of the claimed invention.

Applera, the original parent firm of Applied Biosystems, now part of Life Tech, was the original defendant in the case.

In a statement to GenomeWeb Daily News, Life Tech said that the Supreme Court often declines to grant reviews "and the Court's decision is not a decision on the merits. We look forward to vigorously pursuing our other strong defenses against Enzo's claims relating to the remaining two patents – which have expired – in the trial court."

Enzo and Yale's lawsuit originally claimed that Life Tech infringed six patents — 5,328,824; 5,449,767; 5,476,928; 4,711,955; 5,082,830; and 4,994,373 — covering methods of modifying, preparing, and labeling nucleotides for DNA sequencing. Four of the patents were assigned to Yale and two were assigned to Enzo Life Sciences, an Enzo Biochem subsidiary.

In a summary judgment in 2007, the US District Court for the District of Connecticut ruled against Enzo and Yale. Enzo appealed that decision, and last year the Appeals Court for the Federal Circuit partially reversed the district court's decision, opening the way for Enzo to pursue a claim for "substantial damage" against Life Tech.

The appeals court vacated the district court's judgment of invalidity for the '824 and '767 patents but let stand its decision on the remaining patents.

Enzo did not comment in time for the publication of this story.