Company Using Technology to Develop Test for COVID-19 Sued for Patent Infringement


With the recent outbreak of Covid-19 in the United States, the government is praying that someone will be able to develop a test for the virus. And, they’re praying that they can do this a lot faster than originally intended. Thankfully, one company that is doing such testing is BioFire. They are using their FilmArray technology to help the government come up with a quicker test for the Coronavirus.

Just two days after they announced their new testing available, they were sued for patent infringement. A company called Fortress Investment Group is the parent company of an outfit called Labrador Diagnostics. Labrador claims that they bought several patents from Theranos last year when they shut down. They closed after CEO Elizabeth Holmes was charged with wire fraud. They filed papers saying that 2 of these patents are the ones being used by BioFire now.

Of course, with the growing need for testing for the Coronavirus, this doesn’t look good for Fortress. They have a history of buying and stockpiling patents, waiting for other companies to create the technology, and then filing suit. In fact, records show that Labrador Diagnostics was not even in existence until March 6, 2020, when they filed incorporation papers in Delaware.

Fortress claims that they’re more than willing to offer the patents and technology royalty-free. However, they want to retain ownership of these patents. Injunctions are rarely ever filed for patent infringement. It is a bit suspicious that the plaintiff, in this case, didn’t even exist two weeks ago.

The government and BioFire are working with local and state health departments to come up with a rapid result test for this virus. It’s hard to imagine that the testing will be halted, despite Fortress’ lawsuit.

If you have a question about the COVID-19 virus and how it impacts you, call our office right away.


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