Monday, September 05, 2005

Stratagene fights back against Third Wave

Stratagene has asserted that its FullVelocity technology is covered by five Stratagene patents issued by the United States patent office (6,350,580; 6,528,254; 6,548,250; 6,589,743; and 6,893,819). Stratagene believes that Third Wave has been infringing Stratagene's patents and has also filed suit against Third Wave. Note that Stratagene's FullVelocity product could indeed fall within the scope of claims of Stratagene's patents but still fall within the scope of Third Wave's claims (i.e., just because you have patent protection does not mean you don't infringe someone else's patents. Patents are a right to exclude, not a right to make.) Whether products of Third Wave infringe Stratagene's patents is a different story. As noted below, Stratagene's patents cited to Third Wave's patents, suggesting Stratagene's patents are improvements thereof.

Defensively, Stratagene believes that certain embodiments of its FullVelocity technology are not covered by Third Wave's patents and such embodiments can be applied effectively to both the research and diagnostics marketplaces. Stratagene noted that the embodiments found to be covered by Third Wave's patents represent less than 0.4% of Stratagene's total revenue in the current fiscal year, although it did not state that the potential jury award represents less than 0.4% of total revenue. Specifically, one should note: The sales by Stratagene of products incorporating these embodiments have been less than $400,000 since inception. Stratagene was informed on September 2, 2005 that the jury decided to award Third Wave a total of $5.29 million in damages.

Stratagene's US 6,350,580, issued Feb. 26, 2002, cites thirteen US patents overall, of which there are three patents to (first inventor) Dahlberg, and 6,090,543 to Prudent. Recall that Third Wave is asserting 6,090,543 against Stratagene. The '580 patent has been cited by two US patents: 6,803,216 (assigned to Stratagene) and 6,893,819 (assigned to Stratagene).

Stratagene's US 6,528,254, issued March 4, 2003, cites Prudent's US 5985557 as well as Michael W. Kaiser's US 5,843,669, assigned to Third Wave. The '254 has been cited by only one US patent, the '819 (assigned to Stratagene).

Stratagene's US 6,548,250, issued April 15, 2003, cites Prudent's 5985557 and Jeff G. Hall's US 5,994,069, assigned to Third Wave. The '250 is cited by only one US patent, 6,893,819, assigned to Stratagene.


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