Beckman Coulter, Inc. along with Applera Corporation have announced that they have established the terms of a settlement to resolve all outstanding legal disputes between the parties relating to claims of certain Beckman Coulter patents and Applera's allegations of breach of contract with respect to certain licensed technology.
The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California has said it will stay its proceedings for 90 days pending completion of definitive agreements based on these terms.
Under the terms of the settlement, Beckman Coulter will grant royalty- bearing licenses to Applera for its patents related to replaceable gels for capillary electrophoresis instruments and DNA sequencers and to its patent for a heated lid for thermal cyclers.
Applera will grant Beckman Coulter licenses conferring rights in the diagnostics market to its patent for nucleic acid sequencing and real time thermalcycling. Limited financial terms were outlined in the joint communication.
Scott Garrett, president and chief executive officer, commented, "We are pleased to have reached a settlement with Applera Corporation."
"Once executed, this agreement will provide both companies with access to important patents and technologies required for continued success in the rapidly growing field of nucleic acid sequencing and molecular diagnostic testing."
Continued Garrett, "Based on recent external industry estimates, the worldwide market for molecular diagnostics testing is estimated to be about $2 billion, growing at more than 15% per year."
"Through this agreement with Applera, Beckman Coulter will be in a position to add nucleic acid sequencing to the menu of molecular diagnostic tests available on our recently launched Vidiera™ NsD capillary electrophoresis systems and CEQ™ family of instruments."
"Our company leads the industry in simplifying and automating complex clinical laboratory processes."
"Access to real time thermalcycling provides a key technology needed for our plans to fully automate high value molecular diagnostic testing from sample preparation through final analysis."
Further details concerning the company's molecular diagnostic strategy and the settlement's impact on its 2006 outlook will by highlighted in the first quarter earnings release and conference call.