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Genentech Trial Hears Closing Arguments

May 21, 1999|Reuters

A lawyer for the University of California argued on Thursday that biotech company Genentech Inc. infringed a university patent while developing a treatment for dwarfism as final arguments were heard in a lawsuit that could be worth more than $1 billion. The lawsuit alleges that Genentech's human growth hormone Protropin, used to treat dwarfism, was developed using stolen proprietary technology developed at the university and protected by a 1982 patent. South San Francisco, Calif.-based Genentech, the world's second-largest biotechnology company, said it would appeal any unfavorable ruling in the lawsuit, which was launched in 1990. The university is seeking $400 million in lost royalties plus interest, which could be tripled under federal patent law. A spokeswoman for Genentech said the jury was likely to begin deliberating the complicated case next week.

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