T. Schneider /
16 May 2023Muireann Bolger

LabCorp hit with further $100m in DNA test patent case

Judge Albright awards punitive damages due to the 'intentional' nature of the infringement | Ravgen fails to secure a three-fold increase on damages awarded by a US jury last year.

In a further blow to Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings ( Labcorp), the DNA test maker has been ordered to pay another $100 million to  Ravgen on top of the $272.5 million in damages awarded by a Texas jury last year.

District Judge Alan Albright delivered his decision to enhance the damages on Friday, May 12, after finding that Labcorp had “intentionally” co-opted Ravgen’s non-invasive DNA testing kits.

In October 2022, Ravgen had requested that its $273 million win in damages against Labcorp, in a dispute over a patented testing method for genetic disorders, be increased three-fold.

However, Albright forwent the chance to increase the award to the full $817 million as  demanded by the victorious biotech.


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

Specifically, Ravgen alleged that its rival had infringed US patent numbers 7,332,277 and 7,727,720—namely claims 67, 91, 130, and 132 of the '277 patent, and claim 6 of the '720 patent.

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

The Texas jury went on to find 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.

In his recent order, Albright wrote that he was awarding additional punitive damages because this dispute did not represent a case of “accidental” infringement.

“Labcorp was well aware of Dr Dhallan’s invention and the ’277 patent …Labcorp knew of the patent and knew it was infringing—it was just waiting to be sued,” he noted.

No corrective action

Albright went on to point out that, in the days following their internal emails regarding Ravgen’s first patent lawsuit, Labcorp took action.

But, he added, this was not “corrective action”.

“Instead, it tried to cover up evidence of infringement. It updated its documentation silently and secretly to remove Labcorp’s admission that “[t]he preservative in Streck BCT stabilises whole blood cells and delays the release of maternal genomic DNA,” wrote Albright.

Though Labcorp changed its documents, it did not change its products. Labcorp continued to infringe in the same way, he added.

“Here, overwhelming evidence of Labcorp’s egregious behaviour demonstrates that maximum enhancement is warranted. Labcorp launched and sold multiple infringing tests for over a decade while knowing that it needed a licence. The jury has found the requisite subject wilfulness, and the facts strongly support enhancement,” he concluded.

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

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