|XRPD patent infringement court case|
Vertical Analytics LLC has filed a complaint for patent infringement against Bruker AXS Inc, Pfizer Inc, AstraZeneca PLC and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. If the US court rules in favour of the plaintiff, further legal action can be expected against equipment suppliers, pharmaceutical companies and contract research organizations (CROs) which have been, or are, using the disputed technologies.
Crystallics wants to reassure its customers that all projects commissioned in the past have been delivered with proper licenses to the disputed technologies and is, therefore, not infringing the patents. In addition, Crystallics holds a perpetual license to the technologies and, hence, any future use of these technologies in projects commissioned by customers will not infringe the patents. Crystallics is the only CRO which holds such a license.
The patents at the centre of the infringement complaint were invented by Avantium and these have, according to a press release by Acacia Research Corporation (Acacia) dated 20 June, 2012, been sold to Vertical Analytics LLC, a subsidiary of Acacia. Acacia is a US company which specializes in partnering with inventors and patent owners and enforcing, often through legal challenge, intellectual property consisting primarily of patents, patent rights, and patented technologies.
Vertical Analytics’ granted patents cover the vertical transmission configuration of X-ray powder diffraction where the material to be measured is placed on a horizontal plane, such as a well plate, and the X-ray is beamed in a “vertical and perpendicular” direction. The vertical and perpendicular direction is defined as any direction where additional attachment is not required to fix the sample material to the plane. The benefits of this vertical and perpendicular configuration include a simple, quick and efficient way of analyzing samples, ease of automation and convenience to study phase transitions of samples when one phase is a liquid. Vertical Analytics claim that the Bruker D8 line of equipment, with a certain set-up, infringes these patents. Court action has not only been taken against the manufacturer of the D8 equipment but also against Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Bristol-Myers Squibb for using these machines in an infringing manner. If successful further legal action can be expected against equipment suppliers, pharmaceutical companies and CROs which have been, or are, using the disputed technologies. Please click on the following link for an animation of the vertical transmission set-up: http://youtu.be/3ARKjl1R1ug
Crystallics was founded in April 2011 as a spin-out of Avantium Pharma, a subsidiary of Avantium Holding. The spin-out did not include the transfer of the vertical transmission patents but instead these patents were retained by Avantium Holding. As part of the spin-out Crystallics secured a perpetual worldwide license to use the vertical transmission technology as published in the Crystallics press release dated 15 June 2011. Crystallics is the only CRO which holds such a license.