Cases

Southern Patents Held Valid

March 9, 2015

Southern Patents Held Valid

Professor Sir Edwin Mellor Southern is the inventor of the well-known "Southern blot" laboratory method for the detection of specific DNA sequences in a sample. Professor Southern is also the inventor of one of the first oligonucleotide microarrays, commonly known as "DNA chips", for the detection of DNA sequences. A typical DNA chip is a device consisting of thousands of short fragments of DNA arranged on a tiny silicon chip for studying gene sequences and their functions.

 

Wenderoth obtained the pioneer U.S. patent for Professor Southern on his technology, as well as later issued U.S. Patent No. 6,054,270 and others. The patents were commercialized through Southern's company, Oxford Gene Technology (OGT). A larger rival U.S. biotech company, Affymetrix, challenged OGT in a Delaware district court over this pioneer biotechnology. The OGT patents were held valid, and OGT won the infringement suit.