NEW YORK – A federal judge has ruled that Laboratory Corporation of America must pay Ravgen an additional $100 million, beyond the $272.5 million jury verdict delivered in September, for "egregious" violations of Ravgen's patents on prenatal testing methods.
Judge Alan Albright of the US District Court for the Western District of Texas wrote in his ruling, issued last Friday, that enhanced damages were warranted against Labcorp for its infringement of US Patent Nos. 7,727,720 and 7,332,277, both titled "Methods of Detection of Genetic Disorders." Ravgen, a small Maryland-based firm, has scored a series of victories in disputes over its patents on commonly used methods to prevent lysis in a maternal blood sample and identify abnormalities in fetal cell-free DNA.
Ravgen sued Labcorp in 2020, citing Labcorp's MaterniT 21 Plus test, MaterniT Genome test, InformaSeq Noninvasive Prenatal Test, and Resolution ctDx Lung Assay as products infringing the patents. Labcorp was among the firms that argued before the US Patent and Trademark Office's Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) that Ravgen's methods should not have been patented because they were too well known and obvious from prior research, but Ravgen prevailed in all the challenges with its patents intact.
Though the patents expired in March, Ravgen continues seeking compensation on allegations of past infringement.
In September, Ravgen attorney John Desmarais said the $272.5 million verdict was "a critical step in Ravgen receiving credit for its significant contribution to genetic testing technology." A spokesperson for Labcorp said at the time that Ravgen's claims of infringement were without merit and it had been reviewing options for appeal in addition to its then-challenge before the PTAB.
In January, Labcorp filed an appeal in the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit over the PTAB's November 2022 ruling in favor of Ravgen.
A Labcorp spokesperson said the company would not comment on ongoing litigation. Ravgen attorney Kerri-Ann Limbeek, partner at Desmarais law firm, said in a statement that Labcorp "is just one example of several companies that were fully aware of these patents but declined to take a license prior to creating their own rival products built on Ravgen's breakthroughs."