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Frequently Asked Questions About STR Uses

Publication Date: 2013
Do you have questions about intellectual property rights surrounding short tandem repeat (STR) analysis? Promega has the answers to your Frequently Asked Questions.

Q: In which applications are PowerPlex® products typically used?

A: The PowerPlex® systems were designed for analysis of forensic casework and paternity testing. As methods for human identification evolved, the value of STR analysis in nonforensic applications has continually expanded. Common applications outside forensic casework include cell line authentication, research on genetic diseases or cancer, mixed sample analysis, twin zygosity testing, sample tracking and noncasework-related forensic applications such as general research in forensics or teaching and training of persons not employed in a forensic laboratory.

Q: Can I use PowerPlex® products in the applications listed above?

A: Yes. Promega has intellectual property rights surrounding STR analysis. We transfer the intellectual property rights to our customers for the use of PowerPlex® systems for all applications at the point of sale. Promega PowerPlex® products are labeled Not For Medical Diagnostic Use.

Q: Is a license required to use PowerPlex® products in applications outside of forensic casework and paternity?

A: The license to use PowerPlex® products for all applications is transferred with the purchase of the product. There are no further licensing requirements or royalty obligations for customers using PowerPlex® products, regardless of application.

Q: How do recent court rulings affect my ability to use PowerPlex® products in nonforensic applications?

A: In 2011, The UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF WISCONSIN confirmed several restrictions on the use of AmpFlSTR® products sold by Life Technologies Corporation. The Life Technologies kits may be used only for forensic casework and paternity testing. They may not be used for, among other things, chimerism determination or analysis, molar specimens classification, cell line authentication, determination of fetal sex, cancer analysis, genetic research, noncasework-related forensic applications (such as general research in forensics or teaching and training persons not employed in a forensic laboratory), identifying or determining maternal cell contamination or sample tracking. No such restrictions have been placed on Promega products by the court. Please note that Promega STR products are not intended for use in diagnostic procedures.

Q: How can I learn more about the use of Promega PowerPlex® Systems in nonforensic applications?

A: For more information, visit: www.promega.com/products/cell-authentication-sample-identification/. Click “Talk to a Scientist” for more details.

PowerPlex is a registered trademark of Promega Corporation.

AmpFlSTR and Identifiler are registered trademarks of Applied Biosystems.