Federal Court of Appeals to decide on claims for United States in fraud case against Hoffmann-La Roche.
Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals will decide the right of the United States to recover losses on payments made to Hoffmann-La Roche (Nutley, NJ) and its partner Applera Corporation on a key patent in molecular biology molecular biology, scientific study of the molecular basis of life processes, including cellular respiration, excretion, and reproduction. The term molecular biology was coined in 1938 by Warren Weaver, then director of the natural sciences program at the Rockefeller . A preliminary communication from the United States District Court United States District Court
In the U.S., any of the 94 trial courts of general jurisdiction in the federal judicial system. Each state, as well as the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, has at least one federal district court. in Virginia indicates that the case will be dismissed and Promega Corporation (Madison, WI) announced it will appeal that determination. This allows the appellate court A court having jurisdiction to review decisions of a trial-level or other lower court.
An unsuccessful party in a lawsuit must file an appeal with an appellate court in order to have the decision reviewed. to resolve the issue of whether lies told to the United States Government in procuring the patent on Taq DNA Polymerase DNA polymerase /DNA po·lym·er·ase/ (pah-lim´er-as) any of various enzymes catalyzing the template-directed incorporation of deoxyribonucleotides into a DNA chain, particularly one using a DNA template. can be addressed under the False Claims Act.
The claim filed in Virginia seeks recovery of what could be hundreds of millions of dollars in wrongful payments for Taq DNA Polymerase by the Government to Hoffmann-La Roche and Applera. This action arose out of other litigation An action brought in court to enforce a particular right. The act or process of bringing a lawsuit in and of itself; a judicial contest; any dispute.
When a person begins a civil lawsuit, the person enters into a process called litigation. in which the Roche Taq patent was ruled unenforceable. The Federal Court for the Northern District of California ruled in 1999 and reaffirmed this past May that the patent for Taq could not be enforced against anyone because it had been obtained with a series of false material statements that were intentionally made to the United States Patent and Trademark Office The United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO or USPTO) is an agency in the United States Department of Commerce that provides patent protection to inventors and businesses for their inventions, and trademark registration for product and intellectual property , which even included the fabrication fabrication (fab´rikā´shn),
n the construction or making of a restoration. of experimental data. Promega damage claims on its own behalf remain pending in California.
"As the Federal Court in California held, people lied to the United States Patent and Trademark Office in obtaining the Taq patent," stated Randall Dimond, Promega Vice President and Chief Technical Officer. "As many in the scientific community recognize, Roche's aggressive enforcement of this patent caused hundreds of millions to be paid to Roche through government grants and other government programs, and we believe the people who paid those monies, including the government, should be paid back. We believe the False Claims Act is one important way to ensure integrity in the patent process. Wrongfully obtained patents prevent free and open competition and thus lead, as they did here, to grossly excessive pricing caused by the payment of royalties and license fees on a patent that never should have been allowed. Open competition guarantees that precious federal dollars are not needlessly squandered squan·der
tr.v. squan·dered, squan·der·ing, squan·ders
1. To spend wastefully or extravagantly; dissipate. See Synonyms at waste.
The Virginia action is based on the False Claims Act, a federal statute allowing recovery of funds improperly paid by the Government. While the case was brought by Promega on behalf of the United States, the United States Department of Justice “Justice Department” redirects here. For other uses, see Department of Justice.
The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) is a Cabinet department in the United States government designed to enforce the law and defend the interests of the United States had, as well, previously filed a Statement of Interest in the Virginia case in support of Promega. At the insistence of Hoffmann-La Roche, the media and public have been barred from seeing the substance of the latest False Claims Act allegations.
Promega is a leader in providing innovative solutions and technical support to the life sciences industry. The company's 1,200 products enable scientists worldwide to advance their knowledge in genomics, proteomics, cellular analysis, molecular diagnostics and human identification. Founded in 1978, the company is headquartered in Madison, WI, USA with branches in 10 countries and 54 global distributors. Annual sales exceed $165 million.