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Bio-Rad, LLNL Sue 10x Genomics for Patent Infringement

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Bio-Rad and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have sued 10x Genomics for patent infringement, alleging it infringes on seven patents related to droplet digital PCR.

In documents filed with the US District Court for the Northern District of California, the plaintiffs said that 10x Genomics' GemCode and Chromium systems infringe on patents that Bio-Rad either owns or exclusively licenses from LLNL related to forming droplet emulsions in microfluidic chips.

In the suit, the plaintiffs request injunctive relief, lost profits and/or royalties, as well as other damages.

Bio-Rad previously sued 10x Genomics in 2014, alleging that 10x cofounders misappropriated trade secrets from Bio-Rad. Bio-Rad had purchased QuantaLife, which developed droplet-based emulsion systems and methods. At the time, the 10x cofounders were employees of QuantaLife, but later left and launched 10x.

In 2015, however, the American Arbitration Association ruled in favor of 10x, finding that the cofounders did not breach obligations to Bio-Rad.

The seven patents included in the most recent suit are: US Patent Nos. 9,089,844; 9,126,160; 9,216,392; 9,347,059; 9,500,664; 9,636,682; and 9,649,635. The patents relate to technology for forming emulsions, analyzing nucleic acids, and generating droplets and droplet-based assays.

In its suit, Bio-Rad claims that its patents apply not only to its ddPCR system, but also include other applications that would benefit from droplet formation via microfluidics, such as next-generation sequencing and single-cell analysis. Bio-Rad claims that the GemCode and Chromium instrument both rely on "the same scientific principles to create emulsions in a microfluidics chip and use the same type of microfluidics chips, both of which infringe the claims of the asserted patents." 

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