Illumina Found to Infringe on Syntrix Patents

A federal jury in Tacoma, Wash. found the BeadChip array product manufactured by Illuminainfringed a patent of Syntrix Biosystems, and the life sciences tools maker was ordered to pay approximately $96 million in damages. However, charges that the infringement was willful, and that Illumina misappropriated trade secrets, were dismissed.

Strongly disagreeing with the jury's findings, Illumina said it will ignore the decision as it intends to file motions asking the court to vacate the jury's finding and rule as a matter of law that the BeadChip does not infringe Syntrix's patent.

Illumina's president and CEO Jay Flatley said, "We will continue to sell the products that are the subject of this suit and no damages will be payable to Syntrix until all appropriate appeals have been taken, which may take a number of years."

The gene sequencing equipment maker contends its technology is based on technology licensed from Tufts University when Illumina was founded in 1998. "We continue to feel very strongly about our position that Syntrix's allegations are without merit," the executive continued, "and that, ultimately, our position will be vindicated."

Illumina develops, manufactures, and markets life science tools and integrated systems for the analysis of genetic variation and function, and derives product revenues from the sale of microarrays and DNA sequencing products.

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