QIAGEN Wins Judgment Against Third Wave
GAITHERSBURG, Md., Jan. 11, 2008 -- QIAGEN Gaithersburg Inc. (formerly Digene Corporation), a wholly owned subsidiary of QIAGEN N.V. (Nasdaq:QGEN) (Frankfurt:QIA) today announced that it was granted summary judgment on the antitrust counterclaims asserted against it in QIAGEN's patent infringement suit against Third Wave Technologies, Inc.
Judge Barbara B. Crabb of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin ruled that Third Wave had "failed to show any violations," by QIAGEN of antitrust laws and granted QIAGEN's motion for summary judgment regarding those claims.
Peer Schatz, Chief Executive Officer of QIAGEN, stated, "QIAGEN is pleased with today's outcome in which Judge Crabb specifically ruled in our favor on every one of Third Wave's antitrust claims. This ruling makes clear that QIAGEN's leadership in the marketplace for HPV testing is the result of the trust we have earned with our customers based on the quality and performance of our molecular diagnostic solutions for HPV, our products' overwhelming clinical validation, and the fact that we are the first and only company to have received FDA approval for our molecular HPV test."
In her ruling, Judge Crabb noted that Third Wave provided no evidence that its failure to win more contracts is attributable to any illegal acts by QIAGEN, but rather to the customer's choice to purchase QIAGEN's FDA-approved test. According to Judge Crabb's ruling, QIAGEN "is selling a product that many customers prefer over the product defendant is selling, with the not surprising result that defendant has not captured as many customers as it wishes it had." Judge Crabb's ruling went on to say that "the law does not regulate customer choice or require businesses to improve the lot of their competitors."
Mr. Schatz added that the Company will continue to aggressively pursue its pending patent litigation, in which QIAGEN alleges that Third Wave is infringing on QIAGEN intellectual property.
On January 11, 2007, Digene filed a patent infringement action against Third Wave Technologies, Inc. in the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin. In this action, Digene alleges that Third Wave is infringing one or more claims of United States Patent No. 5,643,715 ("the '715 patent"), of which Digene is the exclusive licensee. On February 28, 2007, Third Wave filed an answer to Digene's complaint, in which Third Wave denied infringing the claims of the '715 patent. Third Wave further asserted counterclaims against Digene alleging violations of federal antitrust laws pursuant to Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act, the Clayton Act, and the Robinson-Patman Act. In response, on April 5, 2007, Digene filed a reply denying all of Third Wave's counterclaims. The court has issued claim construction rulings narrowly construing the patent, which Digene plans to appeal. On October 19, 2007, QIAGEN filed the Motion for Summary Judgment now granted by the Court, seeking judgment against all of Third Wave's antitrust claims.
QIAGEN N.V., a Netherlands holding company, is the leading provider of innovative sample and assay technologies and products. QIAGEN's products are considered standards in areas such pre-analytical sample preparation and assay solutions in research for life sciences, applied testing and molecular diagnostics. QIAGEN has developed a comprehensive portfolio of more than 500 proprietary, consumable products and automated solutions for sample collection, nucleic acid and protein handling, separation, and purification and open and target specific assays. The company's products are sold to academic research markets, to leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, to applied testing customers (such as in forensics, veterinary, biodefense and industrial applications) as well as to molecular diagnostics laboratories. QIAGEN employs more than 2,600 people in more than 30 locations worldwide. QIAGEN products are sold through a dedicated sales force and a global network of distributors in more than 40 countries. Further information about QIAGEN can be found at www.qiagen.com.
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SAFE HARBOR STATEMENT
Certain of the statements contained in this news release may be considered forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. To the extent that any of the statements contained herein relating to QIAGEN's products, markets, strategy or operating results are forward-looking, such statements are based on current expectations that involve a number of uncertainties and risks. Such uncertainties and risks include, but are not limited to, risks associated with management of growth and international operations (including the effects of currency fluctuations and risks of dependency on logistics), variability of operating results, the commercial development of the applied testing markets, clinical research markets and proteomics markets, nucleic acid-based molecular diagnostics market, and genetic vaccination and gene therapy markets, competition, rapid or unexpected changes in technologies, fluctuations in demand for QIAGEN's, products (including fluctuations due to the level and timing of customers' funding, budgets, and other factors), our ability to obtain regulatory approval of our infectious disease panels, difficulties in successfully adapting QIAGEN's products to integrated solutions and producing such products, the ability of QIAGEN to identify and develop new products and to differentiate its products from competitors' products, market acceptance of QIAGEN's new products and the integration of acquired technologies and businesses. For further information, refer to the discussions in reports that QIAGEN has filed with, or furnished to, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).