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Weil Gotshal Wins Major Victory for Applera; Secures Summary Judgment Invalidating Three Patents

NEW YORK, Sept. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- In a major victory for its client, Applera Corporation, a global leader in DNA sequencing technologies, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP won a summary judgment ruling invalidating three key contested life sciences patents. In the action, Enzo Biochem, Inc., had claimed that Applera's DNA sequencing reagents and instruments infringed the patents in question.

In a detailed 49-page Ruling, the Honorable Janet Bond Arterton of the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut concluded that the three patents were invalid for two separate reasons: first, that the patents were fatally indefinite because they fail to provide the public with adequate guidance of what is and what is not covered; and second that the patents were not novel because prior scientific publications described the same subject matter.

The case had been widely followed in the biotechnology industry because Applera's DNA sequencing reagents and instruments are core technologies enabling basic research into fundamental biological processes, as well as in applied fields such as diagnostic or forensic research.

The Weil Gotshal team was led by partners Nicholas Groombridge and Elizabeth Stotland Weiswasser. Mr. Groombridge, who late last year obtained the noteworthy trial judgment transferring inventorship and ownership of the U.S. patent that protected Imclone's blockbuster pharmaceutical, Erbitux(TM), argued the anticipation motion and commented, "We were gratified by the Court's ruling, which confirmed that these patents were not valid. When a company stands up to fight a patent, there is a clear benefit to the industry and consumers. The life sciences community, and the people and patients that it serves, owe a debt of gratitude to Applera for obtaining this win." Added Ms. Weiswasser, who argued the indefiniteness motion, "Judge Arterton's opinion carefully analyzes the patents and properly concludes that they are invalid."

About Weil, Gotshal & Manges

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP is an international law firm of 1,200 lawyers, including approximately 300 partners. Weil Gotshal is headquartered in New York, with offices in Austin, Boston, Budapest, Dallas, Frankfurt, Houston, London, Miami, Munich, Paris, Prague, Providence, Shanghai, Silicon Valley, Warsaw, Washington DC and Wilmington, and opening in Hong Kong in October 2007. Weil Gotshal's Intellectual Property Litigation practice was honored as the leading practice of its kind by Chambers USA with its 2007 Award of Excellence.

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