08/10/2009 - 00:00

Gray in new legal battles

08/10/2009 - 00:00

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THE legal imbroglio surrounding former University of Western Australia researcher and Sirtex Medical founder Bruce Gray has deepened.

Gray in new legal battles

THE legal imbroglio surrounding former University of Western Australia researcher and Sirtex Medical founder Bruce Gray has deepened.

The university has taken its long-running dispute with Dr Gray to the High Court.

At stake is Dr Gray's shareholding in Sirtex, worth about $75 million.

UWA vice-chancellor Alan Robson believes the principles upon which universities conduct research are also at stake.

“This course of action is a matter of principle because the judgment has important ramifications for all university-initiated research. It could stem the potential flow on benefits of intellectual property resulting from such research to the broader community," Professor Robson said.

In its original claim, the university claimed it was the rightful owner of Dr Gray's equity in Sirtex.

Former federal court judge Robert French rejected that argument, and his view was supported by the full federal court, which on September 3 dismissed an appeal.

Sydney-based Sirtex, which has successfully commercialised a cancer treatment technology, has previously disclosed that it has spent $5.5 million on the dispute.

It is likely that the university and Dr Gray have incurred similar expenses.

However, Dr Gray no longer has the advice of Lavan Legal counsel Martin Bennett. Lavan has taken legal action against its former client after a dispute over payment of fees.

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