BGI secures appeal trial over Illumina DNA verdict


Alex Baldwin

BGI secures appeal trial over Illumina DNA verdict

Michael Vi /

Chinese genome sequencing company BGI has been given the go-ahead to appeal an English High Court ruling in an ongoing lawsuit launched by competitor Illumina regarding its DNA sequencing patents.

The court had earlier ruled against BGI’s subsidiary MGI on 21 January this year, confirming that it had infringed on four out of five of Illumina’s valid sequencing patents.

The five patents are EP 1,530,578, EP 3,002,289, EP 3,587,433, EP 1,828,412 and EP 2,021,415.

An MGI spokesperson said in a statement: “We welcome the court’s decision to give us the permission to appeal the judgment, and we intend to file its appeal with the Court of Appeal. As permitted by the court, we will continue to supply sequencing reagents to our existing customers in the UK during the appeal period.

“We strongly oppose the abuse of patent litigation to maintain market monopoly and suppress fair competition.”

During the proceedings, the court ruled that the ‘412 patent was invalid due to obviousness and MGI is seeking to appeal the infringement verdict on the ‘415 patent.

“We concur with the court's previous ruling that Illumina’s ‘412 to methods of sequencing by synthesis using ascorbic acid is invalid for obviousness and that BGI’s CoolMPS sequencing method does not infringe this patent, as well as the finding that MGI’s CoolMPS sequencing does not infringe the ‘415 patent.”

MGI alleges that all five of Illumina’s patents are not valid, nor are they infringed by MGI’s CoolMPS and StandMPS sequencing systems.

“We are disappointed with the rulings on other mentioned patents. We continue to firmly believe that these patents are invalid and/or not infringed by MGI’s proprietary CoolMPS and StandMPS technologies,” said MGI’s spokesperson.

The two companies are currently locked in several lawsuits surrounding patent infringements in the UK, Hong Kong, and the US.

After the January ruling, Illumina’s senior vice-president and general counsel, Charles Dadswell, said the company will “continue to vigorously protect” its IP from BGI’s “willful” infringement.

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BGI, MGI, Illumina, English High Court