BGI wins $333m in DNA patent suit with Illumina


Alex Baldwin

BGI wins $333m in DNA patent suit with Illumina

Michael Vi /

Illumina has been ordered to pay more than $333 million to Chinese sequencing company MGI—a subsidiary of BGI Group formally known as Complete Genomics—following a jury ruling that Illumina infringed two of its DNA-sequencing patents.

A jury verdict handed down on Friday, May 6, ruled that Illumina willfully infringed the two patents and disregarded a counterclaim challenging their validity.

The jury ruled with BGI on all counts, finding that Illumina infringed four claims of US patent 10,662,473 and 9,222,132, which are both titled “Methods and Compositions for Efficient Base Calling in Sequencing Reactions”.

BGI was found to have proven that it was entitled to a total of $333,801,990 in damages as a result of the infringement.

The jury also said that the three patents Illumina had accused BGI of infringing in a countersuit were invalid.

Commenting on the ruling, BGI said: “The protection of intellectual property is very important to life science and biotechnology companies around the world, and it is also a value that BGI has always adhered to.”

Complete Genomics sued Illumina in 2019, claiming that the American biotech company had infringed the ‘132 patent with its “two-channel” sequencing system, later adding the ‘473 patent to the proceedings.

This case is a part of a broader global dispute between BGI and Illumina. The two companies are litigating their respective genomics inventions across several jurisdictions.

In December, a California court awarded Illumina $8 million in damages, ruling that BGI and its subsidiaries had deliberately infringed a patent over a six-year period.

In January last year, Illumina secured another victory at the English High Court, which ruled that four of Illumina’s EU patents were infringed by BGI’s StandardMPS and CoolMPS systems.

Illumina said that it intended to seek a permanent injunction to halt the supply or sale of the BGI systems in the UK until its European patents expire.

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BGI, MGI, medical devices