On Friday, November 10, 2000 Oxford Gene Technology won the first of three trial phases against the biotechnology firm, Affymetrix, Inc. The Delaware jury found that Affymetrix's manufacture and use of GeneChip products infringed OGT's seminal patent for making and using DNA arrays invented by OGT founder Edwin Southern. OGT's patent is for an "apparatus and method for analyzing polynucleotide sequences and method of generating oligonucleotide arrays," which was issued Dec. 23, 1997.
The trial court separated the trial into three phases: (1) infringement; (2) defenses, including patent validity; and (3) damages. The trial on phase 1 was held on November 6-9 in Wilmington, Delaware, and the verdict was returned for OGT on November 10. The trials of phases 2 and 3 have not yet been scheduled.
The Kirkland & Ellis trial team representing Oxford Gene Technology included Mark Pals, Bob Krupka, Bryan Hales, Marc Sernel, Ken Bridges, Alex DeNeve, Laura TenBroeck, Kirstin Larson, Cindy Ahn and Jim Shimota.