IP law update
Regular intellectual property news from Australia and overseas.
- CorCell favoured in blood cord patent litigation
- Genetic Technologies successfully defends non-coding patents
September 20 The US District Court for the District of Delaware has rendered a decision in favour of CorCell Inc and three co-defendants, rejecting PharmaStem Therapeutics Inc claims of patent infringement with regard to PharmaStem's patents that cover processing and storing umbilical cord blood from newborns. The Court overturned the October 2003 jury verdict for patent infringement and denied PharmaStem's request for enhanced damages and an injunction against the defendants. Reversing the jury's verdict, the new judgment entered by the Court holds that CorCell and other cord blood banks are not, and cannot be, liable for patent infringement, because they do not sell, or offer for sale, umbilical cord blood. The clear implication of this ruling is that obstetricians and other health care providers, who simply collect umbilical cord blood for cryopreservation, cannot be liable for contributory infringement of any PharmaStem patent. The Court declared that a child's family owns the child's umbilical cord blood and the private blood banks provide a service, processing and preserving the cord blood for the families. The US Patent and Trademark Office will re-examine the validity of two further related PharmaStem blood cord patents. The European Patent Office has further denied PharmaStem a grant of these same patents.
September 16 Genetic Technologies has successfully defended its non-coding patents in a claim construction hearing covering a range of terms within GTG non-coding patents. Applera Corporation challenged the patents on the grounds that the 15 terms defining the scope within two patent families did not define the precise terms relating to Genetic Technologies' patents covering methods of analysing portions of non-coding DNA. The Northern District Court of California ruled in GTG's favour in 13 out of the 15 disputed terms. In the remaining two cases, the court adopted its own definitions. The terms define the constitution of non-coding gene sequences and associated language covering analysis and amplification of these regions.
[Source: Company Announcement]