The ghost of Theranos is still haunting the biotech market, even in the middle of a pandemic. A shell company called Labrador Diagnostics LLC, which states it holds the rights to two Theranos patents, sued a business making COVID-19 tests for patent infringement. The claim asked the court to force the business, BioFire, to stop making its tests.
” This might be the most tone-deaf IP fit in history,” tweeted Mark Lemley, director of the Stanford Law School Program in Law, Science and Innovation.
Bad: a biotech patent troll
Worse: seeking injunctions although it’s not in the market
Worse still: using patents it obtained from Theranos
Worst: attempting to close down is COVID-19 testing.
This might be the most tone-deaf IP fit in history.
Labrador Diagnostics v. BioFire (D Del)
— Mark Lemley (@marklemley) March 16, 2020
The shell company is owned by Fortress Financial Investment Group, which bought the Theranos patents in2018 Fortress Investment Group happens to be backed by SoftBank, which stated this fall that it would invest billions to bail out WeWork– before backpedaling on that deal this week.
Soon after TechDirt reported on the lawsuit, though, Labrador Diagnostics LLC stated that it would enable third parties to use its patented technology to establish COVID-19 tests– though it’s uncertain how legitimate its claims would have been. “Labrador wishes to explain that the suit was not directed to testing for COVID-19 The claim focuses on activities over the past 6 years that are not in any method related to COVID-19 screening,” the company composed in a press release
Over 200,000 individuals have actually been sickened with COVID-19 worldwide, and over 8,000 people have actually passed away. Italy has the greatest number of verified infections beyond China, and the United States has had a hard time to increase testing to meet the increasing need.
Correction 4: 15 PM ET: A previous version of this story referenced a story about a dispute over 3D-printed ventilator valves. That story has given that been upgraded, and does not seem to include legal action at this time.