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Irori Sues Luminex for Patent Infringement

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Combinatorial chemistry systems firm Irori Technologies is suing Luminex accusing the Austin, Texas-based firm of infringing three patents with its xMAP and xTAG technologies.

In its complaint filed on Friday in the US District Court for the Southern District of California, Irori alleged Luminex infringes US Patent Nos. 6,372,428; 6,416,714; and 6,352,854. The patents, which cover methods of using encoded beads for individually tracking molecules during chemical synthesis, are assigned to San Diego-based Irori.

The patents have applications in molecular assays, as well as high-throughput screening, and "[s]uch techniques find particular value when performing multiplexed high-throughput bioassays in connection with drug discovery, clinical diagnostics, and other such activities," Irori said in its complaint.

Luminex's xMAP and xTAG products, it said, incorporates a matrix, including beads called xMAP microspheres that contain a dye having one of about 100 unique colors. By exciting the beads in the Luminex flow cytometer, the color of each bead can be determined. Further, systematically loading the beads with electromagnetically tagged molecules or particles, and then determining what color beads have reacted with a specific sample enables bioassays to be simultaneously "performed in a rapid, economical manner," Irori said.

"The Luminex xMAP and xTAG technologies made, sold, offered for sale, and used by Luminex incorporate the technologies and utilize the methods developed by Irori and disclosed and claimed in the" '428, '714, and '854 patents, Irori alleged, adding that it believes Luminex's infringement is willful.

In an e-mail to GenomeWeb Daily News, a Luminex spokesperson said the company had not yet been served but "[b]ased on the information we have at this time, it appears that IRORI is a 'patent assertion entity' attempting to monetize a patent portfolio that it acquired through assignment.

"We do not believe there is any merit to IRORI’s claims, and we intend to defend ourselves vigorously in this case," she said. The company is scheduled to release its third quarter financial results after the close of the market today.

Irori is asking the court for damages of an unspecified amount, and a permanent injunction against Luminex, among other remedies.