NP played a leading role in Syntrix Biosystems’ litigation against Illumina Inc.—a biotechnology company. Syntrix filed suit in United States District Court for the Western District of Washington against Illumina, alleging misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of contract, and infringement of U.S. Patent No. 6,951,682. Dr. John Zebala—Syntrix’s CEO—invented the subject matter claimed in the ’682 Patent in 1998. After sharing his invention with Illumina under a nondisclosure agreement, Illumina started making a competing product.
In March of this year, the parties tried the case. After NP made closing arguments on behalf of Syntrix, the Washington jury returned a $96 million verdict for Syntrix. Judge Settle then increased that verdict to $115 million, including prejudgment interest and supplemental damages at an 8% royalty rate.
This is believed to be the largest patent verdict in Washington State history. Along with co-counsel, Syntrix was represented by NP partner Bradley Beckworth and associate Winn Cutler.