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Court Sets 2012 Trial Date for LadaTech, Illumina Sequencing IP Suit

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By Julia Karow

A judge in the US District Court for the District of Delaware has set a February 2012 trial date for the ongoing patent lawsuit between plaintiff LadaTech and defendants Illumina and Solexa regarding DNA amplification technology.

In its suit, filed last August (GWDN 8/21/2009), LadaTech claimed that Illumina's Genome Analyzer and related products and services infringe a patent it holds, US Patent 6,107,023.

The patent, entitled "DNA Amplification and Subtraction Techniques," was granted in 2000 and originally assigned to Genelabs, which GlaxoSmithKline acquired in early 2009.

LadaTech, which is based in Larchmont, NY, and is jointly owned by Glaxo and IP Finance Holdings, said it owns all rights to the patent, which was the subject of a re-examination request filed by a third party on behalf of Illumina in early 2008.

According to the judge's scheduling order, filed last week, a seven-day jury trial is set for Feb. 21, 2012, and a pretrial conference for Jan. 26, 2012.

A hearing on claim construction and motions for summary judgment is scheduled for Nov. 4, 2011.

The parties have to exchange pre-discovery disclosures by May 14, 2010. Fact discovery needs to be completed by March 31, 2011, and expert discovery by July 15, 2011.

LadaTech had asked the court to judge that Illumina has willfully infringed the patent and requested damages "in an amount sufficient to compensate for" the infringement.

In the scheduling order, the judge said that the issues of willfulness and damages will be "bifurcated" for discovery and trial — a decision that splits the trial into separate segments in order to determine liability before willfulness and damages are considered — "unless good cause is shown otherwise."

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