PALO ALTO, Calif., July 20 /PRNewswire/ -- In a decision rendered
July 16, the U.S. District Court of the District of Maryland held that U.S.
Patent Nos. 5,244,797 and 5,668,005, assigned to Life Technologies, Inc.
(LTI), are unenforceable due to LTI's breach of its duty of candor to the U.S.
Patent and Trademark Office.
CLONTECH Laboratories, Inc. of Palo Alto, California, a biotechnology
company which provides gene discovery tools to the biotechnology research
market, was sued by LTI in December 1996 for infringement of the 5,244,797 and
5,668,005 patents, as well as for breach of a label license agreement. The
technology at issue involves certain reverse transcriptase enzymes used in the
cloning of cDNA molecules.
The trial on the inequitable conduct issue, which took place in the
Southern District of Maryland, Greenbelt Division, before the Honorable Judge
Alexander Williams Jr., began on July 13. On July 16, the court rendered a
decision in CLONTECH's favor holding that the patent applicants and their
representatives had intentionally withheld material information and had made
affirmative misrepresentations to the PTO examiner.
In response to the decision, Dr. Kenneth Fong, CEO of Clontech, stated,
"We are delighted that after two and a half years of litigation we have
prevailed. This is great news for the biotech industry as a whole."
CLONTECH was represented by lead attorney Marc R. Labgold, and attorneys
Sharon E. Crane, Mark S. Kaufman, Catherine B. Richardson and Kevin Bell from
the Washington, D.C. office of Long Aldridge & Norman, LLP.
Still pending is a suit filed by CLONTECH in December 1998 in the U.S.
District Court in Wilmington, Delaware against LTI. In the Delaware action,
CLONTECH alleges that Life Technologies knowingly and willfully marketed its
SuperScript and SuperScript II products with a false patent marking, as well
as committing other deceptive trade practices.
For further information regarding this matter, please contact
Sarah Brashears, Esq., Director of Intellectual Property at Clontech
(800-662-2566, ext. 1188).
CONTACT: Sarah Brashears, Esq., Director of Intellectual Property of
Clontech Laboratories, Inc., 800-662-2566, ext. 1188.
SOURCE Clontech Laboratories, Inc.