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.