Bloomberg News

Life Technology Told to Pay $52 Million in Promega Case

February 15, 2012

(Adds Life statement beginning in sixth paragraph.)

Feb. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Life Technologies Corp. was told by a U.S. jury to pay $52 million for infringing patents owned by Promega Corp. related to genetic testing.

The federal jury in Madison, Wisconsin, also found that Life’s infringement of the patents was intentional, closely held Promega said in a statement. That means U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb could increase the award by as much as three times the verdict.

The dispute was over tests that are used to compare DNA samples for use in forensics and paternity tests. The patents cover a way to amplify certain regions on a DNA strand, called short tandem repeat, to perform the analysis.

The judge in November upheld the validity of Promega’s short tandem repeat patents, and found infringement by Carlsbad, California-based Life, Promega said.

“The court’s ruling and the jury award confirm the value of Promega STR technology and its contributions to genetic analysis in the fields of research and molecular diagnostics,” Bill Linton, chief executive officer of Madison-based Promega, said in a statement.

Life said it is considering its options, including asking the judge to overturn the verdict and challenging it before an appeals court that specializes in patent law.

“Sales of Life Technologies STR products for the core forensics and paternity fields are not affected by the jury’s decision, and Life Technologies remains committed to serving the needs of our forensics and paternity customers,” said Suzanne Clancy, a spokeswoman for Life.

Promega said its technology also can be used in genetic research, bone marrow transplant monitoring and cancer analysis.

The case is Promega Corp. v. Life Technologies Corp., 10cv281, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin (Madison).

--With assistance from Caroline Schaberg in New York. Editors: Steve Walsh, Michael Shepard

To contact the reporter on this story: Susan Decker in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Shepard at

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