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Court Denies Abbot's Request to Continue Selling HCV Tech Pending Appeal

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) — Innogenetics today said that a US federal appeals court has rejected a request by Abbott Laboratories to postpone an injunction prohibiting it from selling certain hepatitis C technology until the drug maker has had a chance to appeal the original verdict.

On Jan. 10, the US District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin permanently barred Abbott from selling, using, or exporting any products that infringe on Innogenetics’ US Patent No. 5,846,704, which covers a a method of genotyping the hepatitis C virus.

Abbott filed an emergency motion to stay the injunction pending its appeal. On Jan. 19 the Federal Circuit temporarily stayed the injunction while it considered Abbott’s motion.
Yesterday the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit rejected the motion. The ruling reinstates the injunction against Abbott.
“Yesterday’s decision marks a positive first step in the appeal process and reinforces our belief that we will prevail in the court of appeals, just as we did at trial,” Innogenetics CEO Frank Morich said in a statement.
The ruling stems from a September 2005 suit Innogenetics filed against Abbott and Third Wave Technologies for allegedly infringing the ‘704 patent. The court found that Abbot was infringing the IP, and the following year a jury unanimously said that the ‘704 patent was valid in all respects.
Third Wave and Innogenetics settled the suit five months later.
One week later, on Sept. 8, 2006, that jury unanimously found that Abbott’s infringement was willful and directed it to pay Innogenetics $7 million in damages.
On Jan. 4, the judge in this case dismissed Abbott’s requests for a new trial, affirmed the jury’s original finding, and approved the award of $7 million in damages.
However, the judge overturned the jury’s finding that Abbott’s infringement had been willful. On Jan. 10, the judge granted Innogenetics’ request to permanently bar Abbott from selling, using, or exporting any products that infringe on the ‘704 patent.
Innogenetics later filed an appeal to reinstate the jury’s willfulness finding, and Abbott appealed to stay the permanent injunction pending appeal.

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