Cetus Corp. on Tuesday said it is discussing a damagessettlement with E.I. Du Pont de Nemours & Co. involving DuPont's infringement of Cetus' PCR (polymerase chain reaction)technology.

Cetus is documenting damages it will claim in a June 10 trial todetermine what Du Pont will be required to pay for infringingthe Emeryville, Calif.-based company's patents.

But Peter Staple, Cetus' vice president of legal affairs, onTuesday told BioWorld that the companies were holding talksbecause "both parties would prefer to get these issuesresolved."

Cetus won a major victory in February when a federal jury inSan Francisco upheld the validity of the its two basic PCRpatents.

The June trial will also determine if Du Pont, of Wilmington,Del., willfully infringed Cetus' patents. "If the jury finds willfulinfringement, we will ask for treble damages," said Staple.

Last Thursday, Du Pont voluntarily withdrew its competing PCRproducts from the market. Du Pont later agreed to an injunctionprohibiting sales of the products, said George Frank, Du Pont'ssenior counsel.

Cetus has also accused Du Pont of infringing its '188 PCR patent.Damages and willful infringement in that case will probably beincluded in the June trial, Staple said.

Cetus common stock (NASDAQ:CTUS) closed Tuesday up $1 at$15.13. Du Pont stock (NYSE:DD) closed down 50 cents at$36.38. -- KB

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