REDWOOD CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Codexis, Inc. (NASDAQ: CDXS), a leading protein engineering company, on Tuesday secured a federal court order awarding it summary judgment on 10 claims of patent infringement it brought in a lawsuit against Suzhou, China-based EnzymeWorks, Inc. and its San Diego-based affiliate, also called EnzymeWorks, Inc. The court’s order establishes EnzymeWorks’ uncontested infringement of 10 of Codexis’ patents and eliminates any need for a trial on those issues. The 10 Codexis patents cover dozens of engineered enzymes that have wide industrial applicability.
In the lawsuit, filed in February 2016 in United States District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco, Codexis sued EnzymeWorks and EnzymeWorks founder Junhua “Alex” Tao for willful infringement of 10 biocatalysis patents and also for trade secret misappropriation, breach of contract, interference with business relationships and unfair competition. After nearly 18 months of legal process, EnzymeWorks never contested the infringement charges or challenged the validity of Codexis’ patents. This set the stage for District Judge William H. Orrick awarding Codexis summary judgment of patent infringement.
The court’s order was based on a stipulation in which EnzymeWorks acknowledged that it “has not denied or disputed its infringement” of Codexis’ 10 patents, or the validity of those patents. This partial summary judgment order in favor of Codexis is a key milestone in the lawsuit, but additional disputes remain to be resolved at a jury trial.
Those continuing disputes include Tao’s individual liability for the infringement, Codexis’ claims that the infringement was willful and the amount of damages to be awarded to Codexis, and they also include several claims arising under California state law.
“Codexis is pleased to finally have some closure about EnzymeWorks’ blatant infringement of our patents and disrespect for U.S. patent laws,” said John Nicols, CEO and president of Codexis. “Like our customers and shareholders, Codexis relies on intellectual property rights, and we are grateful that the legal process vindicated our claims and protects our innovations.”
Nicols added, “We’re confident that once the court and a San Francisco Bay Area jury hear all of the facts, they will award significant damages to Codexis reflecting the tremendous value EnzymeWorks and Tao illegally obtained by deliberately infringing our patents, stealing our trade secrets and breaching our contracts.” Nicols noted that Codexis spent several hundred million dollars in innovating and developing proprietary biocatalysis technologies over the company’s 15-plus year history.
About Codexis, Inc.
Codexis, Inc. is a leading protein engineering company that applies its technology to the development of biocatalysts for commercial manufacture of pharmaceuticals and fine chemicals, as well as the development of enzymes as biotherapeutics and for molecular diagnostics. Codexis’ proven technology enables implementation of biocatalytic solutions to meet customer needs for rapid, cost-effective and sustainable manufacturing. For more information, see www.codexis.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements relating to the lawsuit that Codexis filed against EnzymeWorks and Junhua “Alex” Tao for patent infringement, misappropriation of trade secrets, and other claims, including the potential outcome of such litigation. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements because they involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that are, in some cases, beyond Codexis’ control and that could materially affect actual results. Factors that could materially affect actual results include that Codexis may not prevail on some or all of its legal claims against Tao and EnzymeWorks; Codexis may be involved in additional lawsuits to protect or enforce its patents or other rights, which could be expensive, time-consuming and unsuccessful; Codexis’ ability to compete may decline if it does not adequately protect its proprietary technologies or if it loses some of its intellectual property rights; Codexis may not be able to enforce its intellectual property rights throughout the world; if Codexis’ biocatalysts, or the genes that code for its biocatalysts, are stolen or misappropriated, others could use these biocatalysts or genes to produce competing products; third parties may claim that Codexis is infringing their intellectual property rights or other proprietary rights, which may subject Codexis to costly and time-consuming litigation and prevent Codexis from developing or commercializing its products; and confidentiality agreements with employees and others may not adequately prevent disclosures of trade secrets and other proprietary information. Additional factors that could materially affect actual results can be found in Codexis’ Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) on March 9, 2017, including under the caption “Risk Factors,” and in Codexis’ Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed with the SEC on May 9, 2017. Codexis expressly disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements, except as required by law.