Quest Diagnostics agrees to settlement of DNA-test patent dispute

Human genetic material is stored at a laboratory in Munich
Human genetic material is stored at a laboratory in Munich May 23, 2011. REUTERS/Michael Dalder
  • Ravgen accused Quest's prenatal DNA tests of infringing patent
  • Ravgen won $272 mln from Labcorp on similar claims last month

(Reuters) - Quest Diagnostics Inc resolved allegations that its prenatal DNA tests infringed a patent owned by biotech company Ravgen Inc on Friday shortly before a trial in Los Angeles federal court was set to begin, according to a court filing.

U.S. District Judge Gary Klausner said in a Friday court order that the parties had agreed to settle the dispute in principle and dismissed the case with prejudice, which means it cannot be refiled.

The trial, scheduled to start Tuesday, could have been a sequel to Ravgen's $272 million jury win against Labcorp in a patent case in Texas last month.

More information about the settlement was not immediately available. Quest and its attorneys did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.

Ravgen attorney John Desmarais of Desmarais said in a statement Monday that the company was pleased with the settlement and will "continue our efforts to reach licensing agreements with other companies in the industry."

Ravgen has also filed lawsuits against companies including Illumina, Natera and Roche's Ariosa Diagnostics over their DNA tests, in cases that are on hold for related proceedings at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Ravgen said it pioneered prenatal testing for genetic disorders that uses fetal DNA found in the mother's bloodstream. Ravgen sued Quest in 2020, and accused Quest's QNatal Advanced prenatal genetic tests of infringing one of its patents.

Desmarais told Reuters last month that Ravgen had requested royalty damages from Quest at the same rate - $100 per test - that it won from the Waco, Texas jury in the Labcorp case.

The case is Ravgen Inc v. Quest Diagnostics Inc, U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, No. 2:21-cv-09011.

For Ravgen: John Desmarais of Desmarais

For Quest: Bill Lee of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr

(NOTE: This story has been updated to add a link to the Friday court order dismissing the case.)

Read more:

Quest faces next Ravgen DNA testing patent trial after $272 mln Labcorp verdict

Illumina sued by Maryland diagnostics firm over genetic testing patents

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Blake Brittain reports on intellectual property law, including patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets, for Reuters Legal. He has previously written for Bloomberg Law and Thomson Reuters Practical Law and practiced as an attorney. Contact: 12029385713