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Personal Genomics Patent Suit Against PacBio to Resume as Appeals Court Affirms PTAB Decisions

This article has been updated with comments from both companies.

NEW YORK – Personal Genomics' 2019 patent infringement suit against Pacific Biosciences is set to resume after both parties lost appeals that had been keeping the case on hold.

Going forward, Personal Genomics may add claims that PacBio's new Revio sequencer also infringes its patent.

In an opinion issued Jan. 9, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed decisions that led the US Patent Trial and Appeals Board to invalidate 17 claims and uphold 25 claims of Personal Genomics' US Patent No. 7,767,441, "Bioassay system including optical detection apparatuses, and method for detecting biomolecules."

PacBio had challenged the patent's validity via two inter partes reviews at the PTAB. In January 2022, the PTAB found some of the claims to be unpatentable but upheld the validity of the others. PacBio and Taiwan-based Personal Genomics both appealed to the Federal Circuit.

"We are pleased that the court affirmed the PTAB’s decision on the validity of 25 claims of the '441 patent, including 17 claims we have asserted against PacBio in the district court in Delaware," Personal Genomics CEO Johnsee Lee said in a statement.

In an email, Lee said the firm is considering amending the suit to claim that Revio, PacBio's newest long-read sequencer, also infringes its patent. "We believe that these claims cover the most fundamental technology of the majority, if not all, of PacBio's current products, including the Sequel, Sequel II, Sequel IIe, Revio, etc.," he wrote.

A PacBio spokesperson said the firm is reviewing the court's opinion but did not offer additional comment.

When exactly Personal Genomics' patent infringement suit will resume is unclear. The case has not seen its docket updated since June 2023.