Bio-Rad and the University of Chicago accuse French company Stilla of infringing patents related to droplet digital PCR, a method of genetic analysis in which DNA molecules are separated into individual water droplets in an oil emulsion, eliminating the need for multiple test tubes or wells and allowing for analysis of smaller sample sizes than other PCR systems. Bio-Rad asserts that it spent more than $500 million developing the technology, through research and strategic acquisition, and that it has an extensive patent portfolio covering the technology. Bio-Rad accuses Stilla 2019s Naica System, introduced in 2016, of infringing two of those patents, one of which is owned by the University of Chicago and exclusively licensed to Bio-Rad and the second of which is owned directly by Bio-Rad. Personal jurisdiction is asserted in Massachusetts on the basis of Stilla 2019s recently-formed and Beverly-based U.S. entity, as well as on Stilla 2019s demonstration of the Naica System at the Circulating Biomarkers World Congress in Boston in March 2018, prior to the founding of Stilla 2019s U.S. entity. The case has been assigned to Judge Young.
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