THE University of Western Australia will appeal against a Federal Court decision which ruled in favour of intellectual property claims by its former employee, Dr Bruce Gray, founder of Sirtex Medical Ltd. Federal Court Justice Robert French found the legal foundation of UWA’s case did not exist and for that reason its claims against Dr Gray and Sirtex were dismissed. UWA had claimed that it had rightful ownership of a cancer treatment technology – currently being commercialised by Sirtex – which it alleges was developed by Dr Gray during his employment with the university. At stake was Dr Gray’s majority shareholding in Sirtex, which Dr Gray’s lawyer, Martin Bennett from Lavan Legal, said is worth about $90 million. UWA vice-chancellor Professor Alan Robson said the university would appeal against the decision because it challenged the principles upon which all universities operated when requiring employees to undertake research and development using public funds. However, Dr Gray was confident the appeal process would vindicate him again. He told WA Business News UWA would have to counter five findings in Justice French’s judgement that favoured his stance.
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