SAN DIEGO – Affymetrix Inc. and Life Technologies Corp. have not infringed on a patent held by the Regents of the University of California or Becton, Dickinson and Co., and Sirigen, according to a summary judgment entered May 1 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California.

The patent in question deals with “methods and compositions for detection and analysis of polynucleotides using light harvesting multichromophores,” according to court documents.

“Methods permitting DNA sequence detection in real time and with high sensitivity are of great scientific and economic interest,” the court said. “Their applications include medical diagnostics, identification of genetic mutations, gene delivery monitoring and specific genomic techniques.”

According to the summary judgment, Affymetrix and Life Technologies said they did not infringe on the patent in question because, unlike the patented product, their product does not have a “multichromophore system” and does not constitute a sample, as specified in the patent.

The court agreed with Affymetrix and Life Technologies, saying that in order for the  product to be infringing on the patent held by the University of California, Becton, Dickinson and the Sirigen entities, the product must “also include these two claim limitations.”

Wrote the court: “In their motion (for summary judgment), defendants argue that the accused products do not meet the ‘sample’ limitation because the accused products are not used with polynucleotide samples. Defendants also argue that the accused products do not meet the ‘multichromophore system’ limitation because the accused products are not positively-charged (cationic).”

U.S. District Judge Marilyn L. Huff said the university, Becton, Dickinson and Sirigen actually acknowledged in their own court documents that “subject to their rights of appeal…they cannot prove infringement of the ‘799 patent under the court’s constructions of the claim terms ‘sample’ and ‘multichromophore.’”

Huff said in the summary judgment on the ‘799 patent that the plaintiffs also allege that Affymetrix and Life Technologies infringed on six other patents, and “the action will proceed on the remaining patents-in-suit.”

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