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Caliper Licenses Microfluidics IP to BD, Settling HandyLab Lawsuit

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Caliper Life Sciences said today that it has licensed its microfluidics patent portfolio to Becton Dickinson, effectively ending a prior legal dispute between Caliper and BD subsidiary HandyLab.

Last July, then-independent molecular diagnostics firm HandyLab sued Caliper seeking a declaration that it was not infringing Caliper's microfluidics patents.

HandyLab, based in Ann Arbor, Mich., filed the suit after Caliper had sent it a letter suggesting that its Raider and Jaguar instrument systems and associated consumables "could benefit from a license to Caliper's microfluidic intellectual property."

Caliper had identified 13 US patents that it believed covered devices, methods, databases, and components that are used in HandyLab's products or services, and said that it would be "willing to license HandyLab under its entire portfolio of microfluidic patents not just the 13" cited in its letter.

Then, in November, BD acquired HandyLab for $275 million, and said that it planned to incorporate its GeneOhm bacterial assays on Jaguar, a microfluidic PCR-based molecular diagnostics system, and market them as the BD Max system.

Today, in connection with the Caliper-BD licensing agreement, Caliper and BD agreed to settle the litigation initiated by HandyLab.

Financial terms of the licensing agreement and settlement were not disclosed.

Caliper said that its microfluidics patent estate includes more than 350 issued US patents covering fundamental aspects of microfluidic technology, such as plastic and glass chip fabrication, instruments, and chip-based methods used in drug discovery, diagnostics, biological and vaccine development, and genomics and proteomics research.

"We are pleased that BD is leveraging the strength of our microfluidics IP to facilitate the development of its next-generation molecular diagnostics systems," Caliper CEO Kevin Hrusovsky said in a statement.

Hrusovsky added that to date, more than a dozen partners have obtained licenses to the patent portfolio.