Office Revokes Patent Assigned to Affymetrix
SANTA CLARA, Calif., July 25, 2012
Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) today announced a favorable legal ruling from the European Patent Office regarding Agilent's opposition to patent EP 0853679, assigned to Affymetrix.
On Oct. 21, 2003, Agilent joined Combimatrix and Clonediag in opposing the patent, titled "Expression Monitoring by Hybridization to High Density Oligonucleotide Arrays." Agilent opposed the breadth of the patent, particularly the patent's broad use of the term "control probe" in connection with gene-expression microarrays. Gene-expression microarrays are part of Agilent's portfolio of products for genetic research.
An opposition hearing was held on Sept. 12, 2006. During the hearing the patent claims were narrowed, but Agilent and Clonediag still believed them to be overbroad and vague. After the written findings were issued on May 11, 2009, Agilent appealed. An appeal hearing was held July 5, 2012, resulting in this ruling, with all EP 0853679 claims rejected and the patent revoked in totality.
"This ruling is a very positive result for Agilent's many European gene-expression microarray customers and the entire European gene-expression community," said Robert Schueren, Agilent vice president, Genomics. "The ruling allows customers to continue using established workflows and protocols, including control probes, without having to worry about potential patent infringement."
About Agilent in Genomics
Agilent Technologies Inc. is a global leader in target enrichment for next-generation sequencing and genomic microarrays. The Agilent SureSelect and HaloPlex target-enrichment systems enable researchers to easily choose which segments of a genome to sequence, avoiding the time and expense needed to sequence the entire genome. HaloPlex and its same day sample-to-sequencer workflow is well suited for next-gen desktop sequencers, whereas SureSelect's ability to accurately capture whole exomes and whole methylomes in a single reaction pairs well with high-throughput next-gen sequencing systems. These are just two products arising from Agilent's expertise in synthesizing custom complex mixtures of long oligonucleotides gained in microarray manufacturing. Additional product lines built on this core technology include microarrays for genome-wide measurement of gene expression and for comparative genomics hybridization, as well as SureFISH, a highly specific and sensitive product line for oligonucleotide fluorescent in situ hybridization. In addition to oligonucleotide-based products, Agilent offers a microfluidic bioanlyzer to measure sample quality, a target-enrichment tool to speed next-gen sequencing, and a full set of reagents, hardware, methods and bioinformatics software for genomic experiments.
About Agilent Technologies
Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) is the world's premier measurement company and a technology leader in chemical analysis, life sciences, diagnostics, electronics and communications. The company's 20,000 employees serve customers in more than 100 countries. Agilent had net revenues of $6.6 billion in fiscal 2011. Information about Agilent is available at www.agilent.com.
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Eric Endicott +1 408 553 2005