Outcome of court case raises questions for UK-based Genus
Genus Plc (LSE: GNS) has announced the outcome of its court case vs US company Sexing Technologies and the verdict isn’t good.
The Wisconsin jury found the animal genetics specialist guilty of infringing patent 8,206,987 and 8,198,092 and guilty of breaching confidentiality agreements.
The jury will give a verdict on damages matters later this week, and the outcome looks likely to be bad news for FTSE 250 company.
Brokers N+1 Singer, Liberum, and VSA Capital all published commentary on the results this morning, with Liberum saying the second set of US court case verdicts “are less favourable”. Singers took a more negative tone, saying the results were disappointing:
“The first jury verdicts in the long-running two-way litigation between Genus’ ABS (bovine) and US-based Sexing Technologies (‘ST’)… have in our view been disappointing for Genus… We believe that damages are likely to be awarded against Genus.”
VSA said that the second set of rulings were “clearly not in favour of the company”, confirming that Genus had hoped for legal financial compensation (c.£6m) and to be given the go-ahead to launch its in-house sexed semen technology, but that it now seemed likely GNS would have to incur damages and have contract difficulties with ST:
"It seems likely that GNS may now be ordered to pay damages. We had assumed that GNS would be allowed to continue to use the licensed technology from Sexing Technologies until its current contract expires in 2017. However, we are now waiting to see what the implications for its existing contract with Sexing Technologies, given GNS has been ruled to have breached confidentiality obligations, and also whether GNS will be free to launch its own sexed semen technology.”
The groups share price fell 10% on the back of the announcement.