Genus plc (LSE: GNS), a global pioneer in animal genetics, is pleased to announce that on 31 March 2017 an injunction was awarded in its favour in connection with its litigation against Inguran LLC, operating as Sexing Technologies (‘ST’).
In granting the permanent injunction in Genus’s favour, the US District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, confirmed that (i) ST is prevented from enforcing certain research, marketing and non-compete restrictions under the 2012 Semen Sorting Agreement between ST and ABS Global, Inc. (‘2012 Agreement’), an affiliate of Genus; and (ii) other bull studs in the US are permitted to terminate their ST sexed semen processing agreements on 12 months’ notice, without damage or penalty. The injunction will remain in force for five years and ST is required by the Court to give prompt written notice of the Court’s decision to the other bull studs.
The 2012 Agreement will remain in place until its expiry on 31 August 2017 and Genus will consider its options for appeal in relation to other post-verdict motion decisions from the Court, including the Court’s decision to support the validity of certain ST patents.
As a result of this positive outcome, contractual restrictions blocking the way for commercial launch of Genus Sexed Semen (‘GSS’) have been removed by the Court, enabling the commercialisation of GSS and providing ABS customers and third party bull studs with an alternative service provider and increased competition in the market for the processing of sexed bovine semen. GSS is a novel technology for sexing bovine semen that is ready for the market. GSS focuses on fertility outcomes and does not subject the sperm cells to the high pressures and sheer forces of the technology currently in use in the industry.
In a jury verdict in August 2016, ST was found to have wilfully maintained monopoly power in the market for sexed bovine semen processing in the US since July 2012. The permanent injunction awarded by the Court confirms the jury verdict of wilful maintenance of monopoly power by ST. Genus is committed to bringing competition to the market, with the commercial launch of GSS in the US and other key markets globally during the course of 2017.
For further information, please contact:
Tel: +44(0)1256 345970
Karim Bitar, Chief Executive
Stephen Wilson, Group Finance Director
Dan Hartley, Group General Counsel and Company Secretary (for legal enquiries)
Tel: +44(0)207 466 5000
Charles Ryland / Vicky Hayns
Genus creates advances to animal breeding and genetic improvement by applying biotechnology and sells added value products for livestock farming and food producers. Its technology is applicable across all livestock species and is currently commercialized by Genus in the dairy, beef and pork food production sectors.
Genus’s worldwide sales are made in over seventy-five countries under the trademarks ‘ABS’ (dairy and beef cattle) and ‘PIC’ (pigs) and comprise semen, embryos and breeding animals with superior genetics to those animals currently in production. Genus’s customers’ animals produce offspring with greater production efficiency, and quality, and use these to supply the global dairy and meat supply chain.
The Group’s competitive edge has been created from the ownership and control of proprietary lines of breeding animals, the biotechnology used to improve them and its global supply chain, technical service and sales and distribution network.
With headquarters in Basingstoke, United Kingdom, Genus companies operate in over twenty-five countries on six continents, with research laboratories located in Madison, Wisconsin, USA.