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French Court Dismisses Genoway's Lawsuit against Cellectis

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – French genome engineering company Cellectis said last week that the Paris Tribunal de Grande Instance has dismissed a lawsuit filed against it by Genoway in January.

The third chamber of the Tribunal de Grande Instance returned a verdict stating, among other things, that a contract between Cellectis and Genoway was terminated on December 30, 2008; that the under-license products detained by Genoway must be destroyed; and that an audit of Genoway's accounts is to be resumed in order for Genoway to pay sums owed to Cellectis.

The technology enables the use of genetically modified animals in pharmaceutical research, target studies, and compound sifting.

GenOway sued Cellectis in January for allegedly breaching a license agreement for recombinant gene-targeting technology by attempting to forge similar license deals with GenoWay's clients directly.

GenOway, based in Lyon, claimed that the agreement signed in 2001 was not due for renewal until later this year, but that Cellectis, which acts as a licensee of the Institut Pasteur, modified its sales strategy and has began proposing license agreements directly to GenOway's clients.

Cellectis argued in the suit that it had terminated the non-exclusive license for certain uses of homologous recombination on Jan. 5, and claimed that the termination was effective on Dec. 30, 2008. It also sought compensation for damages it said it suffered by GenOway's use of the technology outside the licensed field.