This is the first article in IBO’s twice yearly review of selected patent litigation among lab instrument and product companies.

New Suits

The latest round has been fired in the legal proceedings between Bio-Rad Laboratories and 10x Genomics, only to be stayed. In January, 10x Genomics filed suit in the US District Court for the Northern District of California against Bio-Rad, alleging infringement of four patents related to 10x’s Gel Beads in Emulsion (GEMs) technology (see table). The suit targets Bio-Rad’s Single-Cell Sequencing Solution or “any other Bio-Rad products that embody like functionality involving partitioning genetic material in droplets with gel beads with attached barcode molecules and forming barcoded polynucleotide molecules.” 10x is seeking monetary damages, prejudgment interest and an order enjoining infringement. However, the suit was stayed by Bio-Rad in March pending the outcome of an action brought by 10x Genomics against the company before the US International Trade Commission (ITC) in February regarding the same four patents. Similarly, in November 2017, 10x Genomics requested a stay of Bio-Rad’s 2017 suit against the company  in response to the same ITC case. In addition, Bio-Rad has also taken on another suit against the company following its 2017 acquisition of RainDance Technologies’ (see IBO 1/31/17). The trial for this suit was scheduled for last month but was postponed due to a scheduling conflict. Caliper Life Sciences and parent company PerkinElmer have filed suit against Sony in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York (see table). The complaint alleges that the Sony SH800 Cell Sorter, Sony FX500 Exchangeable Fluidics Cell Sorter and Miconics PanNAT Molecular Diagnostic System infringe seven microfluidics patents (see table). PerkinElmer seeks a judgement of infringement and damages plus interest. In the complaint, PerkinElmer also requests a declaratory judgment of noninfringement of nine patents held by Sony. The complaint refers to correspondence earlier this year from Sony informing PerkinElmer that PerkinElmer’s inForm Cell Analysis software (used with PerkinElmer’s Vectra automated quantitative pathology imaging system and Mantra quantitative pathology workstation), Nuance Multispectral Imaging System (now discontinued) and Velocity software (divested in 2017) infringe the patents. Sony has not yet filed an answer with the court.

Summary Judgment

A suit filed in July 2017 in district court in Southern California by the Regents of the University of California and Becton, Dickinson alleges infringement of the company’s high-brightness polymer dyes, including its BD Horizon Brilliant dye products, for flow cytometry by Affymetrix and Life Technologies (Thermo Fisher Scientific). Specifically, the suit alleges infringement of three patents: US Patent Nos. 9,085,799 (Methods and Compositions for Detection and Analysis of Polynucleotides Using Light Harvesting Multichromophores), 8,110,673 (Aggregation Sensor and Solutions and Kits Comprising the Same) and 8,835,113 (Methods and Compositions for Assaying a Sample for an Aggregant). The defendant’s Super Bright Dyes products are specified as the infringing product, with the complaint citing the defendants released three polymer tandem dyes and more than 150 new reagent products since December 2017. In September, the defendants answered the complaint denying the accusations. Earlier this year, Sirigen and Sirigen II, subsidiaries of Becton, Dickinson (BD), were added as plaintiffs to the suit. In May, the court granted the defendants’ motion for summary judgment of non-infringement of the ‘799 patent. However, in a separate ruling, the court denied the defendants’ motion of summary judgment of non-infringement of ‘673 and ‘113.

Settlements

In a suit brought last year by Bio-Rad Laboratories against Thermo Fisher Scientific (see IBO 5/15/17), the court granted the parties’ joint stipulation of dismissal with prejudice.

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