In February, Illumina filed two lawsuits against sequencing company Oxford Nanopore for patent infringement. At the heart of the lawsuit is the use of Mycobacterium smegmatis porinA (MspA). Illumina is alleging that Oxford Nanopore's MinION and PromethION devices for single-molecule sequencing infringe US patent nos. 8,673,550 and 9,170,230, which use Msp porins as the basis for a protein nanopore sequencing system. The San Diego–based sequencing giant says it signed exclusive rights to license and develop the MspA technology from the University of Alabama Birmingham Research Foundation and the University of Washington. Illumina is now seeking damages as well as an injunction against further infringement. The Oxford-based biotech has not disclosed whether the hand-held MinION sequencer currently on sale and the larger benchtop version, PromethION, use Msp porins. In March, Oxford Nanopore's chief technology officer Clive Brown announced a collaboration with the laboratory of Han Remaut from VIB, a Ghent, Belgium–based research institute to develop a new DNA sequencing nanopore. The R9 pore is based on a Escherichia coli CsgG pore that resulted from screening over 700 mutations. The company intends to soon make flow cells containing the new R9 pore available for MinION and PromethION systems, and will discontinue its existing R7 flow cells by academic researchers in some early access programs. Oxford Nanopore has never discussed the type of pore it had used in its devices. It did rely on the alpha-hemolysin pore in its early development phase.