Illumina, Inc. (NASDAQ: ILMN) today announced that the company has sought leave to file counterclaims against Intelligent Bio-Systems, Inc. (IBS) and Qiagen NV, which recently acquired IBS, in response to the patent lawsuit brought by Columbia University and IBS on March 26, 2012 in U.S. District Court in Wilmington, Delaware. In its counterclaims, Illumina has sued IBS and Qiagen for infringement of three Illumina patents, entitled "Labelled Nucleotides." These three patents (U.S. Patent Nos. 7,057,026; 7,785,796; and 8,158,346, all expiring in December 2022), are applicable to the sequencing by synthesis technology being used in the IBS Max-Seq and MINI-20 DNA Sequencers. Illumina is seeking all available remedies, including injunctive relief. With respect to the claims brought by Columbia and IBS, Illumina has denied all of Columbia's and IBS's allegations of patent infringement, and has asserted that Columbia's patents are invalid.
Illumina is a leading developer, manufacturer, and marketer of life science tools and integrated systems for the analysis of genetic variation and function. Illumina owns or has exclusive licenses to more than 250 patents granted in the U.S., and many additional patents granted worldwide, to protect its massive investments in research and development and resulting technological breakthroughs.
"As we have said in the past, Illumina strongly prefers to compete in the marketplace. However, we are determined to use our IP to protect our market position, acquired through Illumina's history of unmatched innovation, so that our customers can continue to benefit from resulting technological advances that are changing the economics of genetic research," said Jay Flatley, President and CEO of Illumina.