Disclaimer: I have done some consulting work for DNA 2.0, but have not been involved with the lawsuit discussed in this post.
DNA 2.0 is a leading gene synthesis company, specializing in the custom synthesis of long and complex DNA sequences. DNA 2.0 provides a web-based DNA design tool called Gene Designer, which its customers can use to design, clone, validate and order custom designed DNA sequences. Gene Designer includes an "intuitive drag-and-drop interface for moving sequence elements within or between constructs.”
Yesterday, DNA 2.0 sued Genome Compiler Corporation (GCC) in the Northern District of California for infringing US Patent Number 7,805,252. In its complaint, DNA 2.0 alleges that GCC infringes the patent directly and/or indirectly by developing, distributing and supporting Genome Compiler software. According to the GCC website, Genome Compiler is a DNA design program that features an "intuitive drag & drop, zoom in & out user interface” and enables its users to order their own synthetic DNA designs.
The ‘252 patent includes a single independent claim:
1. A computer program product for use in conjunction with a computer system, the computer program product comprising a tangible computer re adable storage medium and a computer program mechanism embedded therein, the computer program mechanism for designing and manipulating a set of sequence elements in order to design a design nucleic acid sequence, the computer program mechanism comprising:
(I) instructions for representing the set of sequence elements on a display, each sequence element representing an amino acid sequence segment or a nucleic acid sequence segment, wherein the set of sequence elements collectively encode the design nucleic acid sequence, wherein said instructions for representing said set of sequence elements comprise instructions for displaying a plurality of icons in a linear or a near linear arrangement on a display, each respective icon in said plurality of icons uniquely representing a corresponding sequence element in said set of sequence elements such that neighboring icons in said plurality of icons represent neighboring sequence elements in said plurality of sequence elements in said design nucleic acid sequence, and each said respective icon in said plurality of icons depicts a directional property for the corresponding sequence element in said set of sequence elements; and
(II) instructions for permitting a user to rearrange an order of the icons on a display thereby causing a corresponding change in the nucleic acid sequence of the design nucleic acid sequence.