GENT, Belgium and MADISON, Wis., Jan. 4 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Biotechnology Company Innogenetics announced today that a U.S. District Court judge for the Western District of Wisconsin affirmed a previously awarded $7 million damage verdict against Abbott Laboratories for infringing the company’s HCV genotyping patent. In the same ruling the judge rejected Abbott’s requests for a new trial on infringement and validity.
The January 3, 2007 order also granted Innogenetics’ motion for prejudgment interest on the damage award and set a January 11 evidentiary hearing date to consider the company’s request for a permanent injunction against Abbott’s sale of infringing products. The judge’s opinion vacated the jury’s determination that Abbott willfully infringed Innogenetics’ patent, and declined to award enhanced damages or attorneys fees.
“By upholding the jury’s award of damages, today’s ruling sends a message to companies large and small that mistakenly believe they can misappropriate others’ innovations without regard for the law,” said Frank Morich, CEO of Innogenetics.
This litigation began in September 2005 when Innogenetics sued Abbott Laboratories alleging that Abbott was infringing the company’s United States patent covering a method of genotyping the Hepatitis C Virus (U.S. Patent No. 5,846,704, “the ‘704 patent”). Major diagnostic companies such as Bayer, Roche, and Third Wave Technologies have taken a license to this key patent in the field of HCV genotyping. On September 1, 2006, a jury returned a unanimous verdict for Innogenetics that the ‘704 patent was valid in all respects. On September 8, 2006, the jury unanimously found that Abbott’s actions had been willful, and directed Abbott to pay Innogenetics $7 million in damages related to the infringement to date. Today’s ruling was on post- trial motions filed by Abbott seeking a new trial, and Innogenetics’ motions seeking an injunction against Abbott as well as enhanced damages and attorneys fees.
Innogenetics is an international biopharmaceutical company building parallel businesses in the areas of specialty diagnostics and therapeutic vaccines.
In 2005, total revenues (product sales, royalties, and license fees) reached euro 48.6 million, with a profitable Specialty Diagnostics Division. Its Diagnostics Division develops a large number of specialty products covering three areas: infectious diseases (hepatitis C, hepatitis B, and HIV), genetic testing (HLA tissue typing and cystic fibrosis), and neurodegeneration (Alzheimer’s disease). In its Therapeutics Division, Innogenetics focuses on the development of therapeutic vaccines to address unmet medical needs in the field of infectious diseases, with two compounds now in clinical trials (hepatitis C in phase IIb and hepatitis B in phase I).
Founded in 1985, Innogenetics is listed on Euronext Brussels [Ticker: INNX]. Innogenetics’ headquarters are in Gent, Belgium, with sales subsidiaries in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, and the United States. Innogenetics employs 525 people worldwide and has a market capitalization of approximately euro 282 million.