AUSTIN, TX, March 18, 2020 - Baker Botts L.L.P., a leading international law firm, secured a favorable jury verdict for UK-based Oxford Nanopore Technologies Ltd., developer of a DNA analysis tool used in 100 countries for a range of scientific applications including viral/bacterial outbreak surveillance, cancer research and human genetics, in a landmark patent infringement case.
This significant competitor case, Pacific Biosciences of California Inc. v. Oxford Nanopore Technologies Inc. in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, involved two of the leading companies in the sequencing technology space. The jury invalidated all four patents asserted by PacBio.
PacBio argued that Oxford's DNA sequencing systems infringed one PacBio patent. That complaint was later combined with infringement suits involving three other patents. PacBio sought royalties and financial losses on sales from Oxford Nanopore.
“We are thrilled with the jury’s verdict,” said Baker Botts partner Stephen Hash, lead trial counsel for Oxford Nanopore. “As we made clear at trial, this was an attempt to hamper our client’s success in the market at a time when this technology is needed more than ever.”
The proprietary technology involves sending strands of DNA as long as 2 million lases long through tiny holes in proteins seated in an insulating membrane. Changes in the conductivity of the pore as the strand moves through the protein pore identify the sequence of DNA bases.
Oxford Nanopore’s flagship product, the MinION, weighs approximately two ounces, whereas PacBio’s product weighs 800 pounds. In addition, Oxford Nanopore’s technology allows less hardware-intensive identification of longer, continuous strands of DNA, at a lower cost, available for analysis in real-time.
Last year, the International Trade Commission ruled in favor of Oxford Nanopore in a related case, affirming summary determination of noninfringement by Oxford Nanopore’s nanopore sequencing technology, in a dispute that involved different patents. The Federal Circuit affirmed that ruling on appeal.
Oxford is represented by Baker Botts partners Stephen Hash (Austin), Elizabeth Durham Flannery (Houston); David Weaver (Austin), Michael Hawes (Houston), and David Wille (Dallas); senior associates Puneet Kohli, Jeff Gritton and Mysha Lubke (Austin); and associates Samoneh Kadivar, David Varghese and Alex Piala (Austin).
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