ROCKVILLE, Md., Aug. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Mars, Inc., Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and Argus Genetics, LLC have entered into confidential settlement agreements with BioPet Vet Lab, Inc. and Radio Systems Corporation ("PetSafe"), regarding U.S. Patent No. 7,729,863. The '863 Patent outlines a process for canine breed identification testing and was granted on June 1, 2010. In December 2010, Mars filed patent infringement suits against BioPet and PetSafe, and against MMI Genomics, Inc. Following the issuance of a temporary restraining order by the court in the BioPet/PetSafe suit, in March 2011 the court preliminarily enjoined BioPet and PetSafe from continuing to infringe the '863 Patent by selling DNA breed identification products and associated services. BioPet and PetSafe have appealed the preliminary injunction; however, the preliminary injunction is currently in effect.
This settlement concludes this litigation. While the terms of the agreement are confidential, BioPet will be permitted to process dog DNA samples for a limited period of time for individuals who purchased a BioPet-branded "DNA Breed Identification" kit on or before June 15, 2011. Mars will process dog DNA samples through December 15, 2011 for individuals who purchased a PetSafe-branded "DNA Breed Identification" kit on or before June 15, 2011. Thus, consumers who purchased mixed-breed DNA tests from BioPet or PetSafe before this date will be able to receive results. Otherwise, both BioPet and PetSafe have exited the canine DNA breed identification market.
Mars, Inc, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Argus Genetics, LLC will continue to enforce their patent rights in this market segment.
About Mars Veterinary™
Mars Veterinary is a division of MARS® Incorporated, a company known for innovative consumer and pet food brands that are trusted by people around the world. Its mission is to facilitate responsible pet care by enlightening pet owners and communities with valuable insights into their pets as individuals through innovative, science-based discoveries. For nearly a decade, Mars Veterinary has researched and developed state-of-the-art genetic tests for mixed-breed dogs, revolutionizing personalized pet care. By discovering a mixed-breed dog's ancestry, pet owners and veterinarians can work together to tailor wellness programs that fit the one-of-a-kind needs of a mixed-breed dog. For more information, visit www.wisdompanel.com.
About Mars, Incorporated
In 1911, Frank C. Mars made the first Mars candies in his Tacoma, Washington kitchen and established Mars' first roots as a confectionery company. In the 1920s, Forrest E. Mars, Sr. joined his father in business and together they launched the MILKY WAY® bar. In 1932, Forrest, Sr. moved to the United Kingdom with a dream of building a business based on the philosophy of a "mutuality of benefits" for all stakeholders – this vision serves as the foundation of the Mars, Incorporated we are today. Based in McLean, Virginia, Mars has net sales of more than $30 billion and six business segments including Petcare, Chocolate, Wrigley, Food, Drinks and Symbioscience. More than 65,000 Associates worldwide are putting our Mars Principles in action every day to make a difference for people and the planet through our performance.
Mars brands include: Chocolate – M&M'S®, SNICKERS®, DOVE®, GALAXY®, MARS®, MILKY WAY® and TWIX®; Petcare – PEDIGREE®, WHISKAS®, SHEBA®, CESAR® and ROYAL CANIN®; Wrigley – ORBIT®, EXTRA®, STARBURST®, DOUBLEMINT® and SKITTLES®; Food – UNCLE BEN'S®, DOLMIO®, EBLY®, MASTERFOODS® and SEEDS OF CHANGE®; Drinks – ALTERRA COFFEE ROASTERS™, THE BRIGHT TEA CO.™, KLIX® and FLAVIA®; Symbioscience –SERAMIS®, CIRKU™ and COCOAVIA™.
For more information, please visit www.mars.com.
SOURCE Mars, Incorporated