BORNHEIM, Germany ¿ MorphoSys AG confirmed that it faces a lawsuit filed by Applied Molecular Evolution Inc. (AME), of San Diego.

AME last week said it has filed a patent infringement suit in U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts against MorphoSys and its wholly owned subsidiary, MorphoSys USA Inc., alleging that MorphoSys is willfully infringing ¿Kauffman¿ patents under which AME holds an exclusive license. In the complaint, AME is seeking unspecified damages from MorphoSys, as well as injunctive relief.

AME said the patents under consideration (U.S. Patent Nos. 5,967,862; 5,824,514; 5,817,483; 5,814,476 and 5,723,323) cover methods of stochastically generating proteins, which AME believes is required by many directed evolution technologies.

MorphoSys, of Martinsried, Germany, in a prepared statement said it believes that its major platform, human combinatory antibody libraries (HuCAL), is not collections of stochastically generated proteins, and that the Kauffman patent family is therefore not applicable to its technologies.

Another lawsuit against MorphoSys initiated by Cambridge Antibody Technology Ltd., of Melbourn, UK, together with The Medical Research Council, of London, and the Scripps Research Institute, of San Diego, alleging infringement of their ¿Winter II¿ U.S. patent (No. 6,248,516) was dismissed by the U.S. Court for the Southern District of California in San Diego for lack of jurisdiction and improper venue, MorphoSys said.

MorphoSys has now filed an action for declaratory judgement in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in Washington.

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