Thursday, November 1, 2012

Verinata Hits Arisoa over Prenatal Test

On Thursday, October 25, 2012, Verinata and Leland Stanford Junior University (plaintiffs) recorded a suit against Ariosa and LabCorp (defendants) for patent infringement in the U.S. Court of California (case no. 3:12-cv-05501). 

Verinata is a privately-held company with focus to develop and offer non-invasive tests for early identification of fetal chromosomal abnormalities through proprietary technologies. The Leland Stanford Junior University, commonly referred to as Stanford University or Stanford, is an American private research university located in Stanford, California. Ariosa is a molecular diagnostics company committed to provide non-invasive, prenatal tests for pregnant women in an effort to promote and improve maternal and fetal health. LabCorp is a clinical laboratory, performing molecular diagnostics. It also does oncology testing, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), genotyping and phenotyping.

The patent US8296076 involved in this suit is currently assigned[i] to National Institutes of Health, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services (Source: MaxVal’s Assignment Database). The patent entitled Noninvasive diagnosis of fetal aneuoploidy by sequencing was issued on October 23, 2012 and expires[ii] on September 16, 2029. The Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University has the entire rights on the patent (written assignment agreement by the owners) and Verinata is the exclusive licensee (obtained from Stanford) of the patent in the field of genetic analysis by nucleic acid sequencing.

In early 2012, Verinata began offering Verifi® Prenatal Test on a commercial basis. It employs a novel technique to analyze cell-free DNA circulating in the blood of a pregnant woman by DNA sequencing to determine abnormal number of chromosomes in fetus. As per the complaint, Ariosa introduced Harmony® Prenatal Test, a method involving predefined sequences of maternal and fetal DNA present in the maternal blood that allegedly infringes the patent US8296076. The laboratory tests for Ariosa are being performed via LabCorp.

Verinata has filed a suit for patent infringement as well as declaratory judgment against Sequenom and the case details are as below:

Case No.
Date Filed
Non-invasive pre-natal test using cell-free DNA circulating in the blood of a pregnant woman - Verinata Test (Declaratory Judgment), MaterniT21 test (Non-invasive prenatal test for Down syndrome)

For more details, visit MaxVal-IP and subscribe to our Litigation Alerts.

[i]MaxVal offers Patent Assignment Alert service where subscribers receive email alerts when assignments relating to target applications, patents or entities of interest are recorded.
[ii]Expected expiration date. Patent Term Estimator is a free web-based tool that automatically calculates patent terms and expiration dates for U.S. utility patents.

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