Over the years, we have had the opportunity to describe a series of “patent wars” in which participants were such greats of the 3D printing industry as 3D Systems and Formlabs, Markforged and Desktop Metal or Stratasys and Afinia (the American brand of Chinese TierTime). Now we are witnessing another one, this time in the 3D bioprinting sector. The patent proceedings involve Organovo – an absolute pioneer of 3D printing technology from cellular material, and Cellink (now BICO) – a world leader in the production of 3D bio-printers.

On July 27, 2021, Organovo filed a complaint in federal court in Waco, Texas, seeking pecuniary damages for patents allegedly infringed by Cellink. At the same time, he is seeking a court ruling that will block Cellink from using three of Organovo’s patents relating to devices, systems and methods for tissue production (US9149952B2), improvements in bioprinting technology to facilitate the automation of tissue and organ production processes (US9315043B2), and a method of 3D printing (US9855369B2).

In addition, Cellink is accused of infringing a fourth exclusive patent by the University of Missouri to Organovo, entitled “Self-assembly of Cell Aggregates and Methods of Producing Modified Tissue by Printing Organs” (US9752116B2). According to Organovo’s complaint, the breach of patents concerns two models of 3D bioprinters – Cellink Bio X and Bio X6.

Cellink, however, argues that the accusations are unfounded. In June 2021, the company filed two petitions with the Inter Partes Review (IPR), contesting the validity of two of Organovo’s patents for its current 3D bioprinting technology before the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

If these IPR proceedings were upheld, they could lead to the invalidation of the contested claims in the Organovo patents. Organovo expects the USPTO to make a decision by December 2021. If so, it will conduct an administrative process to establish the patentability of the patent claims that are contested in the intellectual property rights and issue a final ruling within one year. However, if the USPTO refuses to institute intellectual property rights on the disputed claim, the decision is final and not open to challenge.

Ultimately, if Cellink succeeds in an intellectual property right proceeding, Organovo could forfeit intellectual property patents, limiting the company’s ability to prevent others from using or commercializing products and technology similar or identical to its own.

Source: www.centrumdruku3d.pl

Paweł Ślusarczyk
CEO of 3D Printing Center. Has over 15 years' experience in buisiness, gained in IT, advertising and polygraphy. Part of 3D printing industry since 2013.

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