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Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit Affirms Jury Decision to Invalidate Certain PacBio Patents


DELAWARE, May 12, 2021 - The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit recently issued a unanimous Precedential Opinion and Judgment affirming the jury’s March 2020 verdict in the PacBio v. Oxford Nanopore case, that invalidated a number of PacBio patents.

This has been a long running dispute in which Baker Botts client Oxford Nanopore has repeatedly prevailed. In 2018, Oxford Nanopore was found by the ITC not to infringe other patents wrongly asserted against it by PacBio. That ruling was also affirmed by the Federal Circuit. Oxford Nanopore is pleased with this outcome, which it anticipates effectively ends a series of frivolous disputes perpetrated by PacBio.

“The appeals court has affirmed an amazing jury, the last 2020 jury in Delaware district court, which worked hard to come to the right result with its March 18, 2020 verdict invalidating all asserted patents,” said partner Michael Hawes, head of Baker Botts' Patent Appeals Group.

“None of the jury, the district court and now the Court of Appeals was ‘fooled’ by the disingenuous attempt by the PacBio founding scientist to claim inventions that did not exist, despite the unscientific histrionics of PacBio’s counsel in claiming otherwise,” said Dr. Spike Willcocks, Oxford Nanopore’s Chief Business Development Officer. “This is a good day for innovators and inventors everywhere and sends a warning signal to unscrupulous patent trolls that their attempts will fail,” he added.

Oxford Nanopore continues to innovate and bring high-performance, disruptive sequencing products to a global community of scientists. 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.

Oxford is represented by Baker Botts partners Stephen Hash (Austin); Elizabeth Durham Flannery (Houston); Michael Hawes (Houston); and David Wille (Dallas); senior associates Puneet Kohli, and associates Samoneh (Sammy) Kadivar, and Alex Piala (Austin).

Baker Botts is an international law firm whose lawyers practice throughout a network of offices around the globe. Based on our experience and knowledge of our clients' industries, we are recognized as a leading firm in the energy, technology and life sciences sectors. Since 1840, we have provided creative and effective legal solutions for our clients while demonstrating an unrelenting commitment to excellence. For more information, please visit

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