SOURCE: Iris Biotechnologies Inc.

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November 25, 2015 13:18 ET

Iris BioTechnologies Inc. Reports on Legal Proceedings Involving Heller Ehrman LLP

SANTA CLARA, CA--(Marketwired - November 25, 2015) - On November 20, 2015, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court decision denying Iris's motion to file a malpractice claim against its former legal counsel Heller Ehrman LLP. Heller Ehrman was a reputable, one-hundred-plus-years-old law firm with more than 600 attorneys. Heller Ehrman was Iris BioTechnologies' patent counsel from February 1999 to September 2011.

The basis for Iris's malpractice claim was Heller's failure to forward key communications from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

On December 10, 2007, a letter from Heller to Iris stated, "We will forward all correspondence and faxes which we may receive concerning your applications from the (USPTO)." Iris's patent attorney, James A. Fox, also told Iris that there was nothing for Iris to do until further communications from the USPTO. Heller never changed its guidance, which Iris followed as it waited for Heller to forward any USPTO communications.

On March 21, 2008, the USPTO sent Heller an important letter pertaining to Iris patent application. Heller, as the Bankruptcy Court found, did not forward the letter to Iris. As a result of Heller's failure to reply to the USPTO, the patent application became abandoned.

In October 2008, the USPTO sent a second letter notifying Heller that Iris's patent application had become abandoned because of a non-reply to their March 21, 2008 letter. Again, as the Bankruptcy Court found, Heller failed to forward the letter to Iris.

In December 2008, Heller, unbeknownst to Iris, filed for bankruptcy protection. The Bankruptcy court then set a deadline of April 27, 2009 for claims against Heller to be filed. Again, Heller did not notify Iris that there was a claim-filing deadline.

In August 2011, Iris's patent attorney in Canada, who was prosecuting a related patent application, discovered Heller's malpractice and informed Iris. On the same day, Iris CEO Simon Chin contacted Iris's patent attorney at Heller, James A. Fox. He then filed a petition to disengage Iris from Heller and revived the patent application. The patent application was later granted. Iris submitted claims to Heller in April 2012, and Heller denied the claims on June 11, 2012.

Iris CEO Simon Chin, commenting on the Ninth Circuit's ruling, stated, "While we are disappointed with the Ninth Circuit's ruling, this matter is not over. Iris has been and will continue to pursue all alternative legal avenues to vindicate its rights."

Iris maintains Heller Ehrman's failure to notify of key developments from the USPTO constituted legal malpractice. Heller's malpractice prevented Iris from qualifying to be listed on the NASDAQ in 2008 and prevented Iris from being able to raise the capital, at a fair market valuation, for its product launches. The company was also denied the opportunity to stop competitors from infringing on its patents. In addition, Heller Ehrman's malpractice significantly delayed the collection of licensing fees and seriously damaged the value of the company's IP.

Despite all the damage Heller caused Iris, the company continues to develop its technologies, products, and services. In April 2014, Iris was granted a key patent, which Iris believes could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars when fully applied. In the same month, Iris was recognized with the IAIR Award for the Best Company for Leadership in Personalized Medicine in North America. On June 18, 2014, Iris's common stock (OTCQB: IRSB) reached $4.50 per share.

Iris is happy to report that the European Union will be issuing Iris a patent on December 9, 2015 relating to the company's Artificial Intelligence System for Genetic Analysis. This is a significant addition to Iris's six US patents and a portfolio of patents worldwide.

Throughout the past year, Iris has been investing in people, equipment, and software to conduct leading edge research and development on miniaturizing and multiplexing our nano-biochips as well as deep diving on understanding biology, medicine, and new imaging systems. Iris will continue to do so.

Iris plans to launch multiple products in 2016 both in the US and abroad. Iris will soon hold focus meetings in various cities regarding its products and services as well as a multitude of options for rapid collaboration and expansion.

About Iris BioTechnologies Inc.

Iris BioTechnologies Inc. (OTCQB: IRSB) is a life sciences company focused on providing accurate, affordable precision healthcare, which is the future of medicine. Iris offers the best approach to the treatment of cancer and other diseases through actionable integration of molecular profiling in the clinical decision-making process. In the treatment of cancer, we can achieve precision analysis of chemotherapy effectiveness as well as risk of recurrence. We accomplish this by incorporating DNA, RNA and protein analysis with a patient's medical records, family medical history, life style and environmental exposures. Iris enables personal precision healthcare by matching patient to targeted treatments, and in some cases, including therapies in clinical trials.

The Iris Nano-Biochip™ product pipeline includes: CancerChip™, PrenatalChip™, Integrated Blood Test, IVF applications, NeuroChip™ (Alzheimer's and Parkinson diseases), MetabolicChip™ (Diabetes), CardioChip™, and Chips for veterinary, agricultural, environmental, and other applications. The Iris BioWindows™ artificial intelligence system provides big data and analysis for clinical applications, drug development, and stem cell research.

For more information on Iris BioTechnologies Inc., please visit Iris on Facebook (, Twitter (, and the Iris corporate website (

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