By Brian E. Clark
A federal jury on Wednesday night found Stratagene Corp. guilty
of infringing on patents that protect the nucleic acid chemistry used by
Madison-based Third Wave Technologies in its Invader products.
The trial now moves to the damages phase, which should be decided
within the next few weeks. Third Wave spokesman Rod Hise declined to
discuss how much his company is seeking in compensation.
Invader products are used by physicians and researchers to detect
genetic predispositions to disease and infectious agents.
Hise said Third Wave filed suit in September 2004 against
California-based Stratagene in U.S. District Court in Madison alleging
the infringement and asking for monetary damages.
The company also is seeking a permanent injunction preventing the
sale of Stratagene’s reagents marketed as “FullVelocity” products and
monetary damages. A decision on the injunction also should be handed
down this month.
Sales of Stratagene’s FullVelocity products began in early 2004.
According to a Stratagene statement, the elements covered by
Third Wave’s patents represent less than 0.4% of Stratagene’s total
revenue in the current fiscal year.
The statement said Stratagene believes that Third Wave has been
infringing Stratagene’s patents. The company has filed a countersuit
against Third Wave in Delaware.
John Puisis, president and CEO of Third Wave hailed the jury’s
“The positive outcome of this trial for Third Wave and our
shareholders solidifies and upholds the uniqueness of the Invader
chemistry and strengthens the company’s valuable intellectual
property portfolio,” he said.