Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Beware! Patent Thieves

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan has ruled in the favor of Yeda Research and Development Company concerning inventorship disputes of a U.S. Patent # 6,217,866 (the ‘866 patent) that ImClone licenses from Sanofi-Aventis. The court ruled that three scientists associated with Yeda are sole inventors of the patent, which covers the use of certain monoclonal antibodies in combination with anti-neoplastic agents for the treatment of cancer. U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald directed the USPTO to replace seven names now on the controversial patent with those of Professor Michael Sela, Dr. Esther Aboud-Pirak and Dr. Esther Hurwitz. In his 140-page opinion, Judge Buchwald indicated it was not a close call because the events described by the researchers and their experts were “strongly corroborated” by documents, while the version presented by the defendants (ImClone/Aventis) was not. She also found that the plaintiffs’ (Yeda) witnesses were, “as a whole, far more credible than the defendant’s witnesses.” However, ImClone disagrees with the Court’s decision and intended to appeal against it. ImClone believes the former Aventis scientists originally named as inventors are the correct inventors of the patent. The ruling was the first judgment in lawsuits brought by Yeda in five countries against ImClone/Aventis. Other lawsuits are pending in England, Germany, France and Austria. Case: Yeda Research v. ImClone Systems et al. (03 CV 8484).

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