Interleukin Genetics Inc. (NYSE:ILI) and seven other firms were named in a patent infringement lawsuit filed by an Australian genetic testing company.
Genetic Technologies Ltd. of Victoria, Australia, asserts that Interleukin is one of eight companies violating a patent it holds for “Intron Sequence Analysis Method for Detection of Adjacent Locus Alleles as Haplotypes,” according to documents filed in the U.S. District Court for Western Wisconsin.
Beckman Coulter Inc. (NYSE:BEC) was also named in the suit, which alleges that each of the companies developed products that infringe on one or more claims held in U.S. Patent No. 5,612,179, which Genetic Technologies was granted in May 1997.
“Defendant Interleukin offers and provides one or more genetic risk assessment testing services that utilize the methods set forth in one or more claims of the ‘179 Patent,” according to the complaint. More specifically, Interleukin is alleged to have violated Genetic Technologies’ patent with its PST susceptability test for periodontal gum disease.
Interleukin claims the PST test to be the “first and only genetic test that analyzes two interleukin 1 (IL1) genes for variations that identify an individual’s predisposition for over-expression of inflammation and risk for periodontal disease,” according to the company’s website.
Interleukin said it hasn’t been served with the complaint, which was filed Feb. 10, according to regulatory documents filed with the federal Securities & Exchange Commission. But company officials said the firm was approached by Genetics Technologies the day it filed suit with a draft license agreement in exchange for a “yet undetermined fee,” according to the filing.
Officials said they believed the company has a substantial defense against the claims.