U.S. District Court Rules that Merial’s FRONTLINE Plus® Patent is valid
Court orders seizure of existing PetArmor™ Plus products inventory in the U.S.
Paris, France - - Sanofi (EURONEXT: SAN and NYSE: SNY) announced today that the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia ruled that Merial’s U.S. patent covering FRONTLINE Plus® is valid and the PetArmor™ Plus products infringe the patent. Merial is a Sanofi company.
The court ruled that both pet health companies Cipla Ltd. and Velcera Inc. were aware that their sales of PetArmor™ Plus products infringed Merial’s patent and barred those 2 companies from further sales of these products in the U.S. The court ordered the seizure of any existing inventory in the U.S. Judge Land found Cipla in contempt of a March 6, 2008 order prohibiting Cipla from infringing Merial’s patents covering FRONTLINE Plus® brand flea and tick control products.
Judge Land further stated that he will conduct a hearing to determine an award to Merial for damages, as well as the amount of monetary sanctions, including attorney’s fees and costs, that may be appropriate based upon Velcera and Cipla’s violation of the court’s order. The judge stayed his order from taking effect for 60 days to permit appeal. "We are pleased that the court recognized the ’contumacious’ nature of Velcera and Cipla’s conduct
and prevented them from further violating Merial’s intellectual property rights,“ said Merial Executive Chairman, José Barella. ”Merial has invested considerable time and resources developing its flagship FRONTLINE Plus® products, and is confident that Judge Land’s well-reasoned order will be affirmed. Merial is committed to continuing its support of the veterinary profession and will continue to vigorously enforce its patents covering FRONTLINE Plus® products.”
The case is BASF Agro BV et al. v. Cipla Ltd. et al., case number 3:07-cv-00125, in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia. FRONTLINE® and FRONTLINE Plus® are registered trademarks of Merial. ©2011 Merial Limited, Duluth, GA. All rights reserved PetArmor™ is a trademark of FIDOPHARM. ©2011 FIDOPHARM, Inc. All rights reserved.
About FRONTLINE Plus®
FRONTLINE Plus® is proven to effectively kill 100% of fleas within 12 hours of application* and continues to provide fast-acting, long-lasting flea and tick control. FRONTLINE Plus® also breaks the flea life cycle to prevent future infestations. FRONTLINE ®, which was first launched in 1994 is the world’s best selling flea and tick treatment for dogs and cats.
Merial is a world-leading, innovation-driven animal health company, providing a comprehensive range of products to enhance the health, well-being and performance of a wide range of animals. Merial employs approximately 5,600 people and operates in more than 150 countries worldwide. Its 2010 sales were more than $2.6 billion. Merial is a Sanofi company. www.merial.com
Sanofi, a global and diversified healthcare leader, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions focused on patients’ needs. Sanofi has core strengths in the field of healthcare with seven growth platforms: diabetes solutions, human vaccines, innovative drugs, rare diseases, consumer healthcare, emerging markets and animal health. Sanofi is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY).
Forward Looking Statements
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