California Patent Attorney® Blog

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.