Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

European Patent Office Revokes Second Pacific Biosciences Patent

NEW YORK – The European Patent Office this week revoked another patent held by Pacific Biosciences, according to Oxford Nanopore, the firm's main competitor.

The patent, EP3170904, "Compositions and methods for nucleic acid sequencing," relates to the construction of double-stranded DNA templates with hairpins on both ends for sequencing both the forward and reverse strand. 

This is the second PacBio patent revoked by the EPO this year. In January, the office revoked EP3045542, "Methods for nucleic acid sequencing," which also related to a method for converting double-stranded DNA fragments into a circle by adding hairpins to the ends.

In 2018, the companies had settled a lawsuit in Europe that involved the two patents. Under the terms of that agreement, Oxford Nanopore would not sell its 2D sequencing products, which PacBio had claimed infringe on the two patents, in the UK or in Germany through the end of 2023.

Earlier that year, the US International Trade Commission had determined that Oxford Nanopore's products do not infringe the US version of the two patents, US Patent No. 9,404,146 and US Patent No. 9,542,527. That decision hinged on the commission's interpretation of the term 'single-molecule sequencing' and was upheld in February by the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Pacific Biosciences declined to comment on the EPO's revocation of its patent this week.

The Scan

Harvard Team Report One-Time Base Editing Treatment for Motor Neuron Disease in Mice

A base-editing approach restored SMN levels and improved motor function in a mouse model of spinal muscular atrophy, a new Science paper reports.

International Team Examines History of North American Horses

Genetic and other analyses presented in Science find that horses spread to the northern Rockies and Great Plains by the first half of the 17th century.

New Study Examines Genetic Dominance Within UK Biobank

Researchers analyze instances of genetic dominance within UK Biobank data, as they report in Science.

Cell Signaling Pathway Identified as Metastasis Suppressor

A new study in Nature homes in on the STING pathway as a suppressor of metastasis in a mouse model of lung cancer.