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US Court of Appeals Lifts Injunction Against Abbott's HCV Genotyping Technology

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit yesterday lifted a year-old injunction on Abbott Laboratories’ hepatitis C virus genotyping technology stemming from a patent infringement suit brought against the firm by Innogenetics in 2005.
 
The court ruled on a variety of appeals from both Abbott and Belgium-based Innogenetics. It left many of the rulings from the US District Court for the District of Wisconsin in place, but overturned the injunction due to “an abuse of discretion.” The appellate court has sent its decision back to the district court to determine royalties Abbott must pay Innogenetics on infringing products.
 
Innogenetics sued Abbott in 2005 for infringing US Patent No. 5,846,704, which covers a method of genotyping the hepatitis C virus. In September 2006, a jury awarded Innogenetics $7 million. In early 2007, the judge in the case upheld that award, and denied Abbott a new trial on “infringement and validity.”
 
Innogenetics also had sued Third Wave Technologies for allegedly infringing the same IP, but Third Wave settled the case and entered into a non-exclusive licensing agreement and optional extension with Innogenetics.
 
The Wisconsin jury had previously determined that Abbott’s infringement of the patent at issue was willful, but that decision was overturned by the district court. Innogenetics appealed the district court’s decision, but the appellate court yesterday affirmed the ruling that Abbott had not willfully infringed the patent.
 
In addition, the appellate court has remanded for a new trial the district court’s judgment as a matter of law that a claim in Innogenetics’ ‘704 patent was not anticipated by US Patent No. 5,580,718, entitled “Primers and probes for detection of hepatitis C and novel variants,” and assigned to Roche’s Hoffmann-LaRoche subsidiary.
 
The appellate court also sided with Innogenetics in denying Abbott’s motion for a new trial.