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    US trial looms for Genetic
    By Rebecca Urban
    February 21, 2005

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    Genetic Technologies' legal action against Applera Corporation might go to trial in the US, after the two companies failed to settle the matter by mediation.

    The action was expected to be settled quickly after a court hearing late last year ruled mostly in favour of Genetic Technologies on the disputed terms of its patent claims. The Melbourne-based company is suing Applera for infringing its non-coding DNA patents.

    The US District Court has since overseen two mediation conferences instigated by Applera, but the companies have been unable to settle. The last was on Wednesday.

    Genetic Technologies spokesman Geoff Newing said: "The parties are still free to talk. There's a willingness for us to be reasonable in the resolution of this matter but it takes two to dance."

    Although Genetic Technologies has taken out insurance on litigation to protect its patents, cases such as this have crippled its ability to attract licensing deals. It made a $10 million loss last financial year.

    AdvertisementBut licensing activity has picked up recently. In the three months to December 31, the company had $7.2 million coming in - $5 million was a signing fee for its biggest licensing agreement so far - compared with just $1.1 million in the preceding quarter.

    Its shares fell more than 5 per cent on Friday, closing at 51¢.

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