Issue Date: February 29, 2016
Illumina sues Oxford Nano
Illumina, which dominates the next-generation sequencing (NGS) market, is suing its smaller rival Oxford Nanopore Technologies for patent infringement. Filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission and U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, the lawsuits relate to two patents on methods for using Mycobacterium smegmatis porin (Msp) nanopores as a sequencing technique. Illumina, which currently practices chip-based sequencing by synthesis, licensed the patents from its coplaintiffs: the University of Alabama, Birmingham, Research Foundation and the University of Washington. Illumina alleges that Oxford Nanopore infringes the patents by using Msp nanopores in its MinION and PromethION devices. In response, Oxford Nanopore CEO Gordon Sanghera says, “It is gratifying to have the commercial relevance of Oxford Nanopore products so publicly acknowledged by the market monopolist for NGS.” Calling Illumina’s charge “without merit,” Sanghera says he doesn’t anticipate that it will disrupt his firm’s commercial progress. Oxford Nanopore was founded in 2005 around science developed in the lab of University of Oxford chemistry professor Hagan Bayley.
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