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Markman hearing ruling in Affymetrix v. Illumina.

Santa Clara, CA 8/17/06; San Diego, CA 8/17/06 -- A US District Court issued a Markman Order in Affymetrix's 2004 suit against Illumina alleging infringement of six patents (see IBO 7/31/04). The Markman hearing decided the construction of 15 words and phrases in the patent claims. Affymetrix asserted that the court agreed with its "proposed constructions for most terms and adopted only two of Illumina's proposed constructions." Affymetrix also announced that, in a separate decision, the Court had denied Illumina's motion to dismiss Affymetrix's claims regarding US Patent No. 5,795,716 ("Computer-aided visualization and analysis system for sequence evaluation"). "We are pleased with the Court's Markman decision and look forward to proceeding to trial," commented Barbara Caulfield, Affymetrix's executive vice president and general counsel. Illumina announced that the Court's Markman Order supported its interpretations of the terms. Illumina noted that earlier this year, Affymetrix had withdrawn its allegations regarding US Patent No. 6,607,887 ("Computer-aided visualization and analysis system for sequence evaluation"), and that Illumina filed an amended answer and counterclaim, alleging inequitable conduct, antitrust violations and "unclean hands." Illumina CEO Jay Flatley stated, "We believe this ruling supports our noninfringement and invalidity positions and counterclaims in this case and we look forward to obtaining favorable results to that effect." Trial is scheduled to begin October 16.

According to Affymetrix, the court ruled that the patents are not limited to in situ synthesis nor limited to probes chemically linked to a single surface and are not limited to placement of probes at predetermined locations. The patents under dispute are: US Patent No. 6,355,432 ("Products for detecting nucleic acids"); US Patent No. 6,646,243 ("Nucleic acid reading and analysis system"); US Patent No. 5,545,531 ("Methods for making a device for concurrently processing multiple biological chip assays"); and US Patent No. 6,399,365 ("Bioarray chip reaction apparatus and its manufacture").
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Title Annotation:Executive Briefing: News, Trends & Market Intelligence for Instrument Executives
Publication:Instrument Business Outlook
Date:Aug 31, 2006
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