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Weil Delivers Dual Federal Circuit Wins for Bio-Rad and Illumina Protecting DNA Sequencing and Analysis

On August 3, 2020, Weil secured a pair of significant Federal Circuit victories for longtime biotech clients Bio-Rad Laboratories and Illumina in separate disputes. The wins sustained a $24 million patent jury verdict, upheld a permanent injunction against virtually all of an adversary’s infringing products, and cemented a victory in Section 101 patent eligibility jurisprudence.

On behalf of Bio-Rad, Weil convinced the Federal Circuit to uphold a 2019 award of damages and a permanent injunction stemming from a November 2018 jury verdict in a dispute with 10X Genomics for patents on foundational “droplets” technology – the backbone of a rapidly expanding industry – that allows thousands of microscopic droplets to each serve as test tubes for chemical reactions with genetic material. The Weil team bested a lineup of firms including Irell, Paul Weiss, Tensegrity and Orrick.

For Illumina, the Weil team convinced the Federal Circuit to reject a petition for an en banc review of a ruling they won earlier in March, which overturned a summary judgment decision that invalidated patents protecting innovative technology that improves Down’s Syndrome testing. The court’s opinions in the case carved out for the first time a “method of preparation” as a category in the patentable subject-matter analysis under 35 U.S.C. § 101. This latest win continues Weil’s hot streak for Illumina, marking the fifth consecutive win we have achieved for the company in this and other litigation in 2020.

In both cases, the Weil teams were led by partner Derek Walter and Edward Reines, Co-Head of Weil’s Patent Litigation and Life Sciences practices, and included associate Christopher Lavin. Zack Tripp, the Co-Head of Weil’s Appeals and Strategic Counseling practice, was also a member of the Illumina team, and counsel Robert Vlasis and associate Amanda Branch were members of the Bio-Rad team.