23 November 2017
Reporter: Barney Dixon

Illumina takes victory at UK High Court

Illumina has secured wins at the UK High Court of Justice in two patent infringement lawsuits against Premaitha and Ariosa.

UK Justice Henry Carr ruled that Premaitha’s IONA non-invasive prenatal screen test and Ariosa’s Harmony test infringed Illumina’s patents.

A form of order hearing will be scheduled in late 2017 or early 2018, in which the court will hear applications from parties arising from the judgment.

Premaitha says it will seek leave to appeal, while Illumina said it will seek all available remedies for the infringement.

Charles Dadswell, senior vice president and general counsel at Illumina, commented: “We are pleased that the court ruled in our favour.”

He added: “The Court’s judgment validates the investments Illumina has made, the value of this technology and the significant contributions of the inventors in this field.”

Stephen Little, CEO of Premaitha, said: “We are very disappointed with this ruling and deeply disagree with the interpretation the judge has given to precise technical language in the patents.”

Little explained that the judgment could “limit the access of UK patients to non-invasive prenatal tests and, in certain respects, diverges from decisions made in other jurisdictions”.

He concluded: "We are seeking leave to appeal and continue to believe that the motivation behind these legal actions is competitive rather than technical.”

“In the meantime we will continue to offer our high quality non-invasive prenatal test solutions and support to pregnant women and their clinicians in the UK, as we continue to expand our business into territories where we can operate with greater legal certainty.”

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