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In re Application of Illumina Cambridge Ltd.

United States District Court, N.D. California

November 7, 2019

IN RE APPLICATION OF ILLUMINA CAMBRIDGE LTD. for issuance of subpoenas under 28 U.S.C. § 1782

          ORDER GRANTING APPLICATION FOR LEAVE TO SERVE SUBPOENAS RE: DKT. NO. 1

          THOMAS S. HIXSON, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Illumina Cambridge Ltd. seeks leave to serve subpoenas on Complete Genomics, Inc., BGI Americas Corp. and MGI Americas, Inc. (collectively, “Respondents”) under 28 U.S.C. § 1782. Appl., ECF Nos. 1-2.[1] No. opposition has been filed. For the reasons set forth below, the Court GRANTS Illumina Cambridge's application.

         II. BACKGROUND

         Illumina Cambridge, a United Kingdom subsidiary of Illumina Inc., is a California based company that develop, manufactures, and markets DNA sequencing devices. Appl. at 1. It owns the following patents:

1. European Patent No. EP 1 530 578 Bl, (the '578 Patent), Danish PatentDK/EP 3 002 289 T3, which is the Danish designation of a divisional of the '578 Patent (the '289 Patent), and Turkish Patent Number TR 2018 04580 (the '4580 Patent), which is the Turkish validation of the '289 Patent, all of which are entitled “Modified nucleotides for polynucleotide sequencing.” Id. These patents cover modified nucleotides with an azidomethyl blocking group, which are used in a method of DNA sequencing known as “sequencing-by-synthesis” or “SBS.” Id.
2. European Patent No. EP 1 828 412 B2 (the '412 Patent), which is entitled “Improved method of nucleotide detection.” Id. This patent covers the use of a detection buffer containing ascorbic acid that may be used in SBS. Id.

         Illumina Cambridge has brought several actions outside the United States asserting that companies of the BGI Group, a Chinese conglomerate headquartered in Shenzhen, the People's Republic of China, infringe on its patent rights. Id. at 2. Illumina Cambridge seeks leave to serve subpoenas on Respondents to obtain documents and testimony for use in the following foreign patent infringement actions:

1. An action asserting infringement of the '578 Patent in the Dusseldorf (Germany) Regional Court (the “German Action”) against Latvia MGI Tech SIA;
2. An action asserting infringement of the '578 Patent and the '412 Patent in the Federal Patent Court in Switzerland (the “Swiss Action”) against Latvia MGI;
3. An action asserting infringement of the '4580 Patent in the Istanbul Civil Court for Intellectual and Industrial Rights (the “Turkish Action”) against Genoks Teknoloji Saglik Bilisim Turizm Hiz. Endustriyel Makine Elektrik Elektronik Ithalat Ihracat San. Tic. Ltd. Sti.; and
4. An action asserting infringement of the '289 Patent in the Maritime and Commercial Court of Denmark (the “Danish Action”; collectively the “Foreign Actions”) against BGI Europe A/S.

Id.

         Latvia MGI, the defendant in the German and Swiss Actions, is a subsidiary of MGI Tech Co, Ltd., which is in turn another Chinese-based company and a subsidiary of BGI. Id. at 2-3. Genoks, the defendant in the Turkish Action, is a distributor for BGI in Turkey. Id. at 3. BGI Europe, located in Denmark and the defendant in the Danish Action, serves as BGI's European headquarters. Id. BGI Europe provides laboratory services in the area of DNA sequencing primarily under the BGI brand. Id. BGI also manufactures its own DNA sequencing devices through MGI Tech. Id. BGI's DNA sequencing devices on which its SBS method is performed include the BGISEQ-500 and the MGISEQ-2000 (the “BGI/MGI Sequencing ...


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