California Patent Attorney® Blog

February 2013 Archives

Complete Genomics Claims It Did Not Infringe DNA-Sequencing Kit Patents

February 22, 2013,

dna-strand.jpgCalifornia - Complete Genomics Inc. argued in front of a California federal judge on Wednesday that its genome-testing kits do not infringe Illumina Inc.'s patents, claiming it produced sufficient evidence that the gene probes used in its testing kits are different from Illumina's probes.

Complete Genomics, based out of the Bay Area, told U.S. District Judge Elizabeth LaPorte of the Northern District of California that its kits do not infringe Illumina's patents because the kits use a different probe than the one protected by U.S. Patent No. 6,306,597. It argued that it has provided sufficient evidence and expert declarations that show it sequencing methods are different from Illumina's methods.

According to Complete Genomics, Illumina's entire argument against Complete Genomics' motion for summary judgment is based on the presumption that Complete Genomics' sequencing methods would not work unless it used Illumina's patented probe. However, Complete Genomics claims Illumina did not provide declarations from experts in the field that are familiar with the technology or any other evidence to support its assertions.

Illumina admitted that it chose not to gather expert declarations because it believed it had sufficient evidence to combat Complete Genomics' motion for summary judgment without them. Counsel for Illumina, Kevin Flowers, requested that Judge LaPorte allow him to question co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Complete Genomics Radoje Drmanac, arguing that he would easily be able to determine if the company is still using the probes that allegedly infringe Illumina's patents.

Judge LaPorte said that Illumina had not sufficiently proven that deposing Drmanac would be imperative to its argument, but she granted Illumina's request, saying it would not be much of an inconvenience and it would go a long way to leave the parties feeling satisfied with a ruling on the case.

The case was initially filed in San Francisco, California in 2010. Illumina and its subsidiary filed the lawsuit accusing Complete Genomics of infringing three patents related to technology used in DNA-sequencing kits, including the '597 patent. Complete Genomics' claims that the '597 patent covers probes with "annealing temperatures whose maximum and minimum values differ from each other by no more than 1 degree centigrade." Complete Genomics claims the methods it uses involves a 60 degree centigrade temperature spread.

OxyContin Manufacturer Sues Generics Makers for Patent Infringement

February 6, 2013,

pills.jpgCalifornia - Purdue Pharma LP and Grunenthal GmbH filed a lawsuit against two generic drug makers, claiming their planned generic versions of OxyContin will infringe two patents that cover the "abuse-proof" version of the painkiller.

According to the complaints filed in New York on Friday, Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc., now owned by Actavis Inc., and Impax Laboratories Inc. filed abbreviated new drug applications with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for a generic form of oxycodone hydrochloride extended-release tablets for seven different dosage strengths. Purdue and Grunenthal claim the planned generic forms will infringe at least one of two patents relating to the controlled-release version of OxyContin.

According to the FDA, OxyContin is a semi-synthetic opioid and a Schedule II controlled substance due to its high risk of addiction.

The patents-in-suit, both titled "Abuse-proofed dosage form" are owned by German-based Grunenthal, which licenses the patents to Connecticut-based Purdue. The patents protect a specific version of OxyContin that is coated in a plastic-like polymer to help prevent tampering and abuse of the drug. The polymer prevents the pill from being ground into a fine powder and becomes unusable if added to water, but it can still dissolve normally in the stomach.

Watson and Impax both sent a letter to Purdue in December 2012 informing the company of their plans to file ANDAs for a generic version of the painkiller and stating that the patents for the drug are not valid, unenforceable or are not infringed by their planned generics.

Purdue and Grunenthal claim the patents are valid and that the companies cannot reasonably conclude that the generic forms of the drug are not covered by the terms of the patents or that the generic versions would not infringe the patents.

OxyContin is a very profitable painkiller, making Purdue nearly $2.8 billion in U.S. sales in 2011. Purdue claimed that the infringement by the companies "will cause plaintiffs irreparable harm for which they have no adequate remedy at law and will continue unless enjoined by this court."

Purdue requested a declaratory judgment that the planned generics will infringe the patents, an injunction prohibiting the companies from releasing generic versions of OxyContin until the patents expire in November 2023, costs and attorney fees.