A federal district judge in Wisconsin has upheld a jury’s verdict that two patents held by global livestock reproductive services leader and innovator Sexing Technologies (ST) relating to its revolutionary SexedULTRA™ semen sorting process were infringed by ABS Global and Genus plc during their development of a rival bovine semen sex sorting process.
The judge also upheld the jury’s finding that ABS breached its semen sorting contract with ST by misappropriating semen sorting media protocols obtained from ST’s subsidiary, XY, LLC. Prior to trial, Genus and ABS acknowledged the theft of XY’s trade secret semen sorting protocols, saying in a statement read to jurors that “(ABS) is accountable for any damages that may have resulted.” A portion of the damages awarded by the jury was to compensate XY for this theft.
The jury verdicts were returned at the conclusion of a civil trial during the first part of August 2016. The judge’s actions came on March 31 of this year when he directed the entry of final judgment on the jury’s rulings, essentially closing the case. Both sides now await the entry of final judgment that will award damages to ST for ABS’s proprietary rights violations, including a royalty owed to ST on future sales of each A.I. straw of sexed semen made with the Genus Sexed Semen (GSS) process. “We’re pleased the judge has validated verdicts returned by a jury after dutiful and diligent deliberation of the evidence,” ST CEO Juan Moreno said. “These verdicts validate our rights to our patents.”
In a separate action, ST filed several petitions with the U.S. Patent Trial and Appeal Board contending that four patents related to the GSS process held by ABS Global affiliate Premium Genetics were invalid because they were obvious variations of “prior art,” including some of ST’s patents. As a result of these filings, all claims in the four ABS patents have been cancelled.