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FEDERAL JUDGE ENTERS PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION, IN ABBOT/BRISTOL-MEYERS SQUIBB RICELYTE CASE

 FEDERAL JUDGE ENTERS PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION,
 IN ABBOT/BRISTOL-MEYERS SQUIBB RICELYTE CASE
 ABBOTT PARK, Ill., Aug. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- A federal district court judge in Indianapolis today entered a preliminary injunction that will require Mead Johnson & Company to cease the use of the name Ricelyte and to correct advertising claims found to be false and misleading. Ricelyte is Mead Johnson's pediatric oral electrolyte maintenance solution. Mead Johnson is a subsidiary of Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY).
 The injunction was entered following proceedings in a lawsuit filed by Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABL) in February 1991.
 Oral electrolyte maintenance solutions are used to maintain fluid and minerals lost because of diarrhea in infants and children. Pedialyte has been the largest selling pediatric oral electrolyte maintenance solution since its introduction in 1966 by Abbott.
 Under terms of the preliminary injunction order, Mead Johnson must:
 -- immediately cease the use of any claims that
 Ricelyte contains rice or rice carbohydrate,
 that Ricelyte is 'rice-based' or that ''rice
 makes a difference;''
 -- cease sales and marketing of product with the
 Ricelyte name within 90 days;
 -- utilize a new label significantly different in
 appearance from the Pedialyte label, which may
 not contain misleading references to rice;
 -- issue a statement to physicians within 60 days
 to correct misperceptions that have resulted
 from Ricelyte promotions. The statement must
 also be published in professional journals in
 which promotions for Ricelyte have appeared.
 -- not make any promotional claims of superiority
 of Ricelyte based on the ''Pizarro'' study
 published in The New England Journal of
 Medicine.
 ''We are pleased with the court's decision,'' said John Kane, Senior Vice President, Ross Products, division of Abbott.
 ''The court's action supports truthful and accurate representations of health care products.''
 In its lawsuit, Abbott claimed that Mead Johnson:
 - made false and misleading promotional claims
 that Ricelyte provided the benefits of
 solutions containing whole rice powders,
 or was superior to Abbott's Pedialyte
 solution;
 - used research, known as the Pizarro study,
 deceptively to advertise and promote Ricelyte
 to be superior to Pedialyte; and
 - was infringing Abbott's Pedialyte trade dress.
 The initial hearing on this case was conducted by the U.S. district court in Indianapolis. In October 1991, certain advertising claims for Ricelyte were ruled to be false and misleading; however, the judge did not enter a preliminary injunction against Mead Johnson.
 Abbott appealed the trial court's decision and on July 23, 1992, the U.S. Court of Appeals returned the case to the trial court.
 The appellate court upheld the trial court ruling that Mead Johnson's advertising claim that Ricelyte confers the benefits of rice is literally false. In its ruling, the judges wrote, ''Ricelyte does not contain powdered whole rice and is not a whole grain solution; consequently, Mead cannot truthfully characterize Ricelyte as a ''rice- health benefits thereof.''
 The appellate court has concluded that Abbott could also be entitled to injunctive relief on its trade dress infringement claim. Abbott contends that the Ricelyte bottle is confusingly similar to the Pedialyte bottle. This issue is pending. Abbott intends to seek a trial to resolve all remaining issues, as well as monetary damages, Kane said.
 Abbott Laboratories is a worldwide manufacturer of health care products employing some 46,000 people. In 1991, the company's sales and net earnings were $6.9 billion and $1.1 billion, respectively, with earnings per share of $1.27.
 -0- 8/18/92
 /CONTACT: Rick Moser of Abbott Laboratories, 708-937-2654/
 (ABT BMY) CO: Abbott Laboratories; Bristol-Myers Squibb ST: Illinois, New York IN: MTC SU:


DC -- NY069 -- 1103 08/18/92 16:55 EDT
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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Aug 18, 1992
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