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Stratagene to pay Third Wave $10.75M in patent case

Madison, Wis. - Strategene Corp. will pay Third Wave Technologies $10.75 million in cash as part of an out-of-court settlement of their patent dispute, and they have agreed to a process to resolve future disputes through arbitration or licensing.

The case, which was litigated in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin in September 2005 and appealed to the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C., involves two companies that develop molecular diagnostic products.

It centered on which company has the right to commercialize certain molecular diagnostic methods. The U.S. District Court ruled in favor of Third Wave, and later awarded the Madison-based company triple damages of $15.9 million.

Stratagene appealed that ruling, and posted a $21 million bond in the event it had to pay damages and legal feels to Third Wave. As part of the settlement, the La Jolla, Calif.-based company will be able to redeem its $21 million appeal bond.

Kevin Conroy, president of Third Wave, said the settlement will increase the company's cash balance to more than $50 million, allow it to avoid the expense of ongoing litigation, and provide the freedom necessary to expand its molecular diagnostic offerings - including products to screen for the human papilloma virus.
In addition, the companies will either seek dismissal without prejudice or an extension of the trial date for Stratagene's patent-infringement suit against Third Wave in U.S. District Court in Delaware. They will resolve that case or any dispute as part of an agreement that allows either company to arbitrate a patent dispute or resolve it through a royalty-bearing license.

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