News / Blog

Jury Rules Trans Ova Infringed XY LLC Patents
February 20, 2016

DENVER, Colo. — A federal court jury here has awarded $6 million to Texas based
biotech company XY LLC after finding that one of its licensees infringed XY’s patents related to sex-selection technology for livestock.
Jurors decided that Trans Ova Genetics should pay $4.5 million for willfully
infringing 10 XY patents covering sex sorting of livestock semen and another $1.4
million for violating a licensing agreement to use the technology.

XY’s patented sex sorting process separates semen into two component groups — sperm containing X chromosomes (female) and sperm containing Y chromosomes (male) — using a computerized machine called a flow cytometer. Sex sorted semen allows producers to choose the sex of the offspring conceived through artificial insemination and is widely used in the dairy industry but it is also used for breeding beef cattle, horses, deer, goats and sheep.

The jury rejected Trans Ova’s counter claim that XY was trying to create a monopoly
in the sexed semen market by enforcing overly restrictive patents and licensing

“XY is pleased that the jury upheld the validity and enforceability of all of XY’s
patents in the case,” said attorney Kirt S. O’Neill of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, who represented XY. “XY is also pleased that the jury refused to permit Trans Ova to breach its technology license with XY, rejecting Trans Ova’s arguments that it was permitted to do so because the license has strict terms.”

XY filed the lawsuit in Colorado federal court in April 2013 claiming that Trans Ova
violated a licensing agreement between the two companies signed in 2004. The
agreement allowed Trans Ova to use XY’s semen sorting, freezing and artificial
insemination technology and processes to separate livestock semen into gender specific products for use in artificial insemination.


Summer 2018