This morning, a publicly traded transplant diagnostics company called CareDx, along with Stanford University, sued another publicly traded genetic testing company, Natera, for patent infringement.

Much appears to be at stake, and it all centers on cell-free DNA testing, a type of technology that has already been at the crux of numerous lawsuits and looks poised to play center stage again in future corporate battles.

Loosely defined, cell-free DNA (or cfDNA) technology involves blood tests that enable physicians to understand what’s happening in someone’s body. They’re not looking at red or white blood cells (thus the “cell free” part) but at plasma, which carries pieces of broken-up DNA, among other things.

Companies like newly public Guardant Health are using it to try to ensure that

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