Genentech Inc. announced Thursday that it has been granted apermanent injunction against the Wellcome Foundation and itsrelated companies, bringing to a close five years of litigation inthe U.S. regarding the patents for Genentech's thrombolyticagent, tissue-plasminogen activator (t-PA).
The permanent injunction prevents Wellcome from marketingt-PA in the U.S. until 2005, when Genentech's (NYSE:GNE)patents expire.
In March 1990 the U.S. District Court for the District ofDelaware ruled in favor of Genentech of South San Francisco,Calif., declaring three of its patents for t-PA valid and infringedby Wellcome. Wellcome did not appeal the rulings.
In the United Kingdom, however, Genentech lost to Wellcome inthe first t-PA lawsuit in 1988. Since then, Genentech hassuccessfully defended its European t-PA patent against sevencompanies before the European Patent Office. The result, whichis under appeal, provides Genentech with patent protection inall major European countries other than the United Kingdom.
In addition, Genentech prevailed in a related t-PA patent case,obtaining an injunction against Toyobo Co., Ltd. in Japan and inan opposition brought by 28 companies before the JapanesePatent Office. -- Jennifer Van Brunt
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