Life Tech owes Enzo $48.6M after patent fight

Life Technologies ($LIFE) has to fork over $48.6 million to Enzo Biochem ($ENZ) thanks to a judge's ruling on an 8-year patent saga, and Enzo says it plans to pursue millions more in damages.

Back in November, Enzo convinced a jury that Applera, now Life, violated its sequencing patents, and now a federal judge has upheld that jury's verdict and ordered Life to pay out $48.6 million. Next, Enzo plans to petition for prejudgment interest on the damages award, and the company believes that could bring in an additional $25 million.

For its part, Life "respectfully (does) not agree with the decision by the court," the company said in a statement, and it's evaluating its options going forward.

Enzo, on the other hand, is just getting started. President Barry Weiner said the latest ruling should have a positive impact on its other pending legal actions, which include intellectual property lawsuits against Roche Diagnostics ($RHHBY), PerkinElmer ($PKI), LabCorp ($LH), Affymetrix ($AFFY) and others.

In the original suit against Life, filed back in 2004, Enzo and co-plaintiff Yale University alleged that Applera infringed on their intellectual property related to gene sequencing and molecular diagnostics. By 2008, Applera merged with Invitrogen in a $6.7 billion cash and stock deal, and thus Life was born.

Enzo figures Life made about $770 million off its patents, and, if the company gets the interest payment it desires, its total haul could come in above $73.6 million.

- read Enzo's statement

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