Kirkland & Ellis LLP represented biotech firm Third Wave Technologies Inc. in an important patent infringement victory in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin. A federal jury found that biotech firm, Stratagene Corp. willfully infringed every asserted claim in two patents held by Third Wave. The jury awarded Third Wave $5,290,000 in damages. Third Wave has announced that it will seek additional damages in light of the finding, as well as a permanent injunction and destruction of the infringing "FullVelocity" QPCR and QRT-PCR products.
Third Wave filed its suit in September 2004, claiming that Stratagene infringed on patents covering invasive cleavage structure chemistry. The technology is used to analyze, detect and measure DNA and RNA, allowing researchers and doctors to study and diagnose genetic diseases and infections caused by a wide range of viruses and bacteria.
"The positive outcome of this trial for Third Wave underscores the value of the Invader chemistry in the emerging nucleic acid testing market," said John Puisis, president and chief executive officer of Third Wave. "It is clear that many companies want to enter the NAT market, especially given the expiration of basic PCR patents. With the sensitivity of off-patent PCR and the specificity of the Invader chemistry, Third Wave has the unique opportunity to offer better technology than TaqMan, the current industry- leading NAT chemistry. This ability enables Third Wave to develop the best performing products that set a new standard for the industry."
Mr. Puisis stated, "Because Third Wave owns something of such substantial value, we will continue to vigorously protect ... our patent estate. We are pleased to see our initial patents withstand an aggressive legal battle."
Third Wave is represented by Mark A. Pals and Thomas G. Pasternak, partners in Kirkland’s Chicago office, and by associates Cindy Ahn, Christine Duh, Erick Ottoson and Rebecca Walker.
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