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Igen wins round in Roche suit

January 10, 2002 8:00 AM UTC

IGEN said a jury in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland unanimously decided that Roche Diagnostics, a division of Roche (SWX:ROCZ), breached a licensing agreement with IGEN related to IGEN's Origen electrochemiluminescence technology and engaged in unfair competition against IGEN. The jury awarded IGEN a total of $505 million -- $105 million in compensatory damages and $400 million in punitive damages. According to IGEN, the ruling allows it to terminate ROCZ's license to use Origen, and confirms IGEN's rights to certain products ROCZ developed using the technology. ROCZ said it will appeal the ruling and that the court has barred any license termination pending completion of the appeal. IGEN expects the appeal to take 18 months.

The 1997 suit relates to a 1992 licensing agreement between IGEN and Boehringer Mannheim (which was acquired by Roche Diagnostics) for Origen. Last year, the court made a summary judgement that Roche Diagnostics breached the licensing agreement with IGEN by settling a patent infringement suit with a third party without IGEN's consent, and by failing to cease development of a competing product line. ...