ITC Rules Against Pacific Biosciences

Oxford, UK 2/8/18; Menlo Park, CA 2/8/18; Washington, DC —The US International Trade Commission (ITC) has ended its investigation of the alleged infringement of Pacific Biosciences’ US Patent Nos. 9,404,146 and 9,542,527 by UK-based Oxford Nanopore’s MinION and PromethION DNA sequencers. Pacific Biosciences filed the complaint in November 2016 (see IBO 11/15/16), and has patent infringement actions pending against Oxford Nanopore in the US, England and Wales, and Germany. “We disagree with the present determination of non-infringement in this lawsuit, and note that the ITC’s construction of the term ‘single-molecule sequencing’ is inconsistent with both the commonly understood meaning of that term as well as relevant US Supreme Court and Federal Circuit precedent,” commented Pacific Biosciences CEO Dr. Michael W. Hunkapiller. “We initiated the ITC action against Oxford Nanopore to stop use of its ‘2D’ method in the United States that we believe infringes our patents,” continued Dr. Hunkapiller. “We were pleased that, within months of filing the suit, Oxford Nanopore discontinued sale of its 2D products worldwide.” Oxford CEO Gordon Sanghera stated, “We are pleased that Pacific Biosciences has failed, in this action, to prevent Americans choosing and benefiting from Nanopore single-molecule, real-time DNA sequencing.” According to the ITC, this ruling affirms a July 2017 determination.

 The respective patents at dispute in this case are entitled “Compositions and Methods for Nucleic Acid SequencingandCompositions and Methods for Nucleic Acid Sequencing.” The US court cases pending against Oxford Nanopore address three other patents (see IBO 5/15/17, IBO 11/15/17). According to Oxford Nanopore’s website, “The Ligation Sequencing Kit 2D offers a library preparation method for sequencing genomic DNA, amplicons and cDNA that prepares the sample for ‘2D’ sequencing (sequencing the template and complement strands one strand at a time).” 


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