Helicos BioSciences Corporation has now named all three major competitors in a lawsuit claiming willfull infringement on their patents which broadly cover sequencing-by-synthesis technology. They claim that Pacific Biosciences, Life Technologies, and Illumina have all incorporated Helicos’ patented technology “at the heart of” their respective sequencing systems and products.
The patents cover sequencing-by-synthesis methods using labeled nucleotides. The nucleotides are labeled with detectable markers, such as fluorescent markers, that enable determination of each nucleotide incorporated into the DNA strand being extended by the polymerase. The patents describe processes that involve, for example, identifying each new nucleotide by observing its detectable label and neutralizing or removing the label before addition of the next nucleotide. The specific claims apply to both “real time” and “step and repeat” approaches.
“After a careful examination of the sequencing products and technologies offered by Illumina and Life Technologies, we are convinced that they, in addition to Pacific Biosciences, infringe the Helicos patents, which are in full force and effect up through 2028,” stated Dr. Ivan Trifunovich, President and CEO of Helicos.
Recently, Helicos had stated a strategic initiative to vigorously protect their next-generation sequencing IP.