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Thursday, 2 February 2006

KITTY LITTER - WITH CONSEQUENCES


Here’s some Kitty Litter – but this time with consequences. Businessweek reports that Lehman Brothers issued a research note concerning a Dutch patent case between Angiotech and Biosensors International Group. Angiotech is suing Biosensors for patent infringement in Holland, alleging that Biosensors has infringed its patent through selling an Axxion-coated stent. Biosensors then issued a press release stating that a Dutch judge had found that its stent didn’t infringe the Angiotech patent.

As a result, Lehman issued a research note on Angiotech’s competitior Conor Medsystems Inc. This note said that "the fact that Biosensors was able to prove non-infringement with a paclitaxel stent increases the likelihood of a positive outcome" for Conor. Conor appears to have challenged the validity of Angiotech's patents for using paclitaxel to coat stents.

In fact, the Dutch court had only issued a preliminary injunction and the case has not yet gone to full trial. This caused Lehman Brothers to issue an embarrassing climb-down stating:

"After clarifying the ruling, it appears to be much less of a positive for (Conor) and much less of a negative for (Angiotech) than we originally thought suggesting today's trading in both names may be over-reactions."
The misinformation appears to have been at least partially responsible for Angiotech shares reaching a 51-week low and Conor shares reaching a 52-week high yesterday afternoon.

The IPKat says that it pays to know your basic civil procedure, not to mention IP law.

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