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Roche Diagnostics sees no end to IGEN dispute

Roche Diagnostics says it sees no immediate conclusion to its legal dispute with the United States company, IGEN International, over alleged breach of contract.

On Friday, a US federal court ruled that Roche Diagnostics breached a licensing agreement with IGEN by settling a patent infringement suit with a third party without IGEN’s consent.

But Roche Diagnostics said the court had also declined to find it liable on two of four motions set for judgement. And it added that the court had backed it on seven of nine instances claimed by IGEN to be breaches of contract.

“The rulings largely support Roche’s view that the central issues in this dispute are highly complicated and remain unresolved,” said the head of the diagnostics unit, Heino von Prondzynski.

He added that the company expected a positive outcome to the case, although he said he believed a final decision could be a long way off.

The suit alleges that Roche used IGEN’s technology in products that were not mentioned in the contract between the two companies and that IGEN never received proper compensation for the use of its products.

A hearing is set for October. The companies’ legal spat dates back to 1997.

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR