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6 October 2022AmericasMuireann Bolger

DNA test-maker demands $817m triple damages in patent win

Dispute against LabCorp claims wilful infringement | Plaintiff has also sued Illumina, Roche and Myriad in separate cases.

A biotech has requested that its $273 million damages win against LabCorp in a dispute over a patented testing method for genetic disorders, be increased three-fold.

The District Court for the Western District Court of Texas delivered the jury verdict ruling that Labcorp had wilfully infringed Ravgen’s patents, prompting the latter to ask Judge Alan Albright to increase the amount to $817 million.

The request was made in a sealed motion filed yesterday, 5 October.

According to the motion, Ravgen claims that such damages are necessary because LabCorp knew it was infringing the patent for more than a decade.

The biotech company owns US patent numbers 7,727,720 and 7,332,277, which are “directed to unconventional, non-routine techniques for preparing and analysing extracellular circulatory DNA, including for the detection of genetic disorders,” the complaint said.

The inventions covered by the patents were developed by the company’s founder, Ravinder Dhallen, and Ravgen is the exclusive assignee of the patents.

In October 2020, Ravgen sued Labcorp alleging that it had infringed its patents by producing testing kits that bore similarities to its own products.

The Texas jury last week agreed that LabCorp’s approach of combining chemicals to stabilise blood samples had infringed Ravgen’s patented methods of adding formaldehyde to preserve DNA for testing.

Ravgen has also sued many other genetic test makers over the patents including Illumina, Roche and Myriad.

The case is Ravgen v Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings, WD Tex, number 20-cv-00969.

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