A Medical Device Daily

Applied Biosystems (ABI, Foster City, California) an Applera (Norwalk, Connecticut) business, and Agilent Technologies (Santa Clara, California) reported that they have entered into a settlement resolving patent infringement lawsuits originally filed by Applera against Stratagene (La Jolla, California), acquired by Agilent in 2007, alleging infringement of Applera's real-time thermal cycler instrument patents. The lawsuits resulted in injunctions in Germany and the Netherlands and were pending in the U.S. and France.

In connection with the settlement, Agilent has entered into an agreement with Applera to license certain Applera technology relating to Agilent's real-time thermal cycler instrument business in research-related fields and excluding the field of human in vitro diagnostics. The two companies also reported that Agilent has entered into another agreement with Applera to license certain Applera technology relating to Agilent's PCR and real-time enzymes and kits.

Financial terms of the settlement and related license agreements were not disclosed. These agreements fully resolve all pending disputes between Applera and Stratagene.

Thermal cyclers are the main instruments for performing polymerase chain reactions (PCR). PCR, used in life science research, is a process in which a segment of a nucleic acid (DNA or RNA) is copied or "amplified" so that the nucleic acid can be more readily analyzed. In real-time PCR, the amplified DNA is detected during, rather than at the end of, the PCR process, a feature that facilitates greater accuracy in important applications, including gene expression quantitation and genotyping.

Agilent Technologies is focused on communications, electronics, life sciences and chemical analysis.

The Applied Biosystems group serves the life science industry and research community by developing instrument-based systems, consumables, software, and services.

In other patent news: Power3 Medical Products, (The Woodlands, Texas) has filed two Utility Patent Applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The two patents are for a number of the company's identified blood serum protein biomarkers, part of Power3's clinically-validated biomarker panel for early detection and differential diagnosis of Parkinson's disease.

"The specificity for early diagnosis of Parkinson's disease is very important for early treatment," said Dr. Ira Goldknopf, director of proteomics for Power3 Medical. "The biomarkers involved in these patent applications have demonstrated unique specificities for Parkinson's disease. When used in combination with other Parkinson's biomarkers in our diagnostic panel, they increase the accuracy of diagnostic specificity to distinguish Parkinson's patients from other similar neurological disorders."

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