Innogenetics NV has settled its patent dispute with the US pharma giant Abbott over hepatitis C genotyping technology, walking away with a $9.5 million payment and a royalty-bearing licensing deal. The deal follows the ruling by the US Appeals Court in January that Abbott had infringed the Gent, Belgium–based company’s patents.
According to the agreement Abbott will be granted a non-exclusive worldwide license to sell hepatitis C virus genotyping products based on real-time PCR technology. Innogenetics will receive undisclosed royalties for each hepatitis C test sold by Abbott worldwide during the patent term.
Abbott will also take a license to Innogenetics’ patents in the area of hepatitis B, for the development and marketing of its own molecular diagnostic tests in return for undisclosed royalties.
Christiaan De Wilde, CEO of Innogenetics said, “We are pleased to have definitively resolved the ongoing patent litigation. This deal provides a significant licensing fee and strengthens our growth in infectious diseases. By finally closing this chapter, we can further focus on the future.”
It has indeed been a long and tortuous path to this final conclusion. Innogenetics sued Abbott Laboratories in September 2005, alleging it was infringing its US patent covering a method of genotyping the hepatitis C virus. Although there was a unanimous ruling in Innogenetics’ favour in September 2006, Abbott appealed the verdict at the beginning of 2007, and it was another year before the court found in Innogenetics’ favour.