Innogenetics wins patent dispute
Brussels – Belgian biotech group Innogenetics welcomed a ruling by a US court, which decided that Abbott Laboratories may no longer sell products that infringe on an Innogenetics patent, but also upheld an earlier court’s decision that the infringement was not willful. The US District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin also prohibited Abbott from exporting components of the infringing products. In September 2006, a jury found Abbott had infringed Innogenetics’ US patent for a method of genotyping HCV (hepatitis C virus) and awarded Innogenetics US $7m in damages. “We have every reason to be confident”, said Frank Morich, CEO of Innogenetics at a news conference, stressing that the group already has partnerships with Bayer AG and Roche to use the HCV genotyping patents involved. The cost of the legal dispute weighed on the group’s first half results, but Morich says “the main bulk of the costs have been digested” and expects the impact to be much less significant in the second half of the year. Innogenetics began litigation procedures against Abbott Laboratories in September of 2005. After the end of the current ruling, Frank Morich left Innogenetics and joined Berlin-based aptamer company NOXXON AG.