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Affymetrix Wins Verdict Against Illumina

Written by on Thursday, March 15th, 2007

Business Wire reported that the United States District Court for the District of Delaware returned a verdict in favor of Affymetrix in its patent infringement suit against Illumina Inc.

According to Business Wire, the jury found that Illuminas arrays, scanners, software, and related products infringed on one or more claims of all five of Affymetrix (5,535,531, 5,795,716, 6,355,432, 6,399,365, and 6,646,243) patents-in-suit. The jury found that the proper royalty rate was 15 percent, and awarded total damages of more than $16 million for the period of 2002-2005.

Despite the Affymetrix victory, the battle is not yet over.  Forbes reported that Illumina plans to appeal, and that the verdict will affect the market for genotyping and genetic sequencing.  Forbes further reported that:

New customers — chiefly corporate labs — could balk until the case is settled, [UBS analyst Derik] De Bruin said, benefiting Affymetrix.  The analyst also said that by awarding Affymetrix a better than expected royalty rate of 15%, the company may now have better price flexibility in a "very price-sensitive" market.  The patents in question are from 2002 to 2005, and thus the higher than expected royalty rate also bolsters Affymetrix’s case for a similarly high rate "in claiming damage awards from 2006 and beyond should Illumina decide to settle," said De Bruin.  The analyst did, however, add that "unless Ilumina is blocked from the genotyping market, an outcome we continue to believe is unlikely, many customers may still choose Illumina’s products on expectations of better performance and ease of use despite potentially higher prices."



Category: Biotech Disputes

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