Patent Spat Hinges on Early Disease Detection Techniques

BOSTON (CN) – A biotech firm claims in a federal complaint that Boston-area hospitals and universities are infringing its patented techniques of early disease detection.

PointCare Technologies, a medical-research company that specializes in cellular analysis, filed the Jan. 18 suit in Massachusetts against two former employees, Peter Hansen and Petra Krauledat, as well as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Koch Cancer Institute, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Brigham & Women’s Hospital.

Pointcare, which is represented by attorney Christopher Trombetta, says that the defendants are using its patented process to continue research into cellular analysis.

“Defendants have used and are using the patented process as to developing the receptor cells and markers,” the complaint states. “In addition, Defendants have obtained government funding through grants using patent 7,611,849.”

The patent, which lists defendants Hansen and Krauledat as the original inventors of the process and was filed in 2004, described a process of using gold particulars and bonding them with specific types of receptor cells making them easier to identify. This, in turn, makes it easier to detect the early stages of cancer or a patient’s genetic susceptibility to diseases such as AIDS.

According to the complaint, Hansen and Krauledat attempted to the purchase the patent from PointCare, but the sale was never completed and the two continued to use the process anyway.

Representatives for the defendants have not responded to emailed requests for comment.

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