A lawsuit that was filed by DNA Genotek, the subsidiary of OraSure Technologies, against Ancestry.com has been settled. The lawsuit involved DNA testing technology.
In short, the lawsuit was regarding technology for collecting DNA via saliva samples. Exactly what led up to the lawsuit is a bit confusing. It appears that DNA Genotek created saliva test kits. In 2012 and in 2013, Ancestry.com purchased DNA Genotek saliva test kits and used those test kits to collect saliva samples from Ancestry.com customers.
Allegedly, and according to DNA Genotek, Ancestry.com filed for its own patent for an improved version of the saliva sample collection device that was created by DNA Genotek. It appears Ancestry.com did this in 2013 and without the consent of DNA Genotek.
In 2015, DNA Genotek filed a lawsuit against Ancestry.com. In the lawsuit, DNA Genotek claimed that Ancestry.com had unlawfully copied the patented technology of the DNA Genotek saliva sample test kit. Ancestry.com argued that DNA Genotek failed to prove its allegations that Ancestry.com officials willfully violated the patent on the saliva collection device. The case was about an alleged violation of a non-disclosure agreement regarding the DNA testing technology.
Recently, DNA Genotek and Ancestry.com reached a settlement. According to Reuters DNA Genotek’s parent company OraSure Technologies Inc announced that Ancestry.com agreed to pay $12.5 million to resolve a lawsuit in Delaware federal court.
Genome.web has additional information. DNA Genotek has granted Ancestry.com a royalty-bearing, non-exclusive, worldwide license to certain of its intellectual property related to the collection of DNA from human saliva for use in its genetic testing services and products.
The license is limited to saliva DNA collection kits sold or used as part of Ancestry’s genetic testing service offerings and does not cover the sale or use of product outside of Ancestry’s business. The settlement releases all parties from claims filed against them and provides for the dismissal of all pending lawsuits and patent reexaminations.
What does this mean for Ancestry or AncestryDNA customers? It really doesn’t mean much of anything at all. The lawsuit did not affect service on either Ancestry.com or AncestryDNA. It didn’t stop AncestryDNA test kits from being sold to consumers. Sometimes, it can be interesting to learn about what was going on in the background between a company you use and a company that it had been working with.
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