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Affymetrix license denied in U.K.

April 7, 2000 7:00 AM UTC

The English High Court today ruled that AFFX does not have a license to DNA microarray patents belonging to Oxford Gene Technology (Oxford, U.K.), removing one of AFFX's defenses in a patent infringement lawsuit brought by Oxford Gene in 1999. AFFX was down $12.50 to $131.125 on Friday.

Oxford Gene had alleged that AFFX's GeneChip oligonucleotide microarray platform infringes Oxford Gene's European Patent No. 373,203 covering oligonucleotide microarrays and other patents. AFFX had argued that the infringement suit was unfounded since it had a license to the Oxford Gene patents through a 1999 deal with Beckman Coulter (Fullerton, Calif.) (see BioCentury, June 14, 1999). Justice Jacob, the U.K. judge presiding over the case, ruled that Beckman Coulter did not have a microarray business in the first place, rendering it unable to sell that business to AFFX and thus also was unable to transfer to AFFX its license to the Oxford Gene patents. ...