03/09/2009 - 15:38

UWA loses $75m Gray appeal

03/09/2009 - 15:38

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Former University of Western Australia researcher Dr Bruce Gray will be able to keep his $75 million stake in Sirtex Medical after the Federal Court today dismissed the university's appeal over ownership of the biotech's intellectual property.

UWA loses $75m Gray appeal

Former University of Western Australia researcher Dr Bruce Gray will be able to keep his $75 million stake in Sirtex Medical after the Federal Court today dismissed the university's appeal over ownership of the biotech's intellectual property.

In a very brief delivery of the judgment, Justices Lindgren, Finn and Bennet upheld Justice Robert French's decision, handed down last year, which found no legal foundation for UWA's case.

UWA had claimed that it had rightful ownership of Sirtex's cancer treatment technology which it claims was developed by Dr Gray during his employment with the university.

The technology is currently being commercialised by Sirtex Medical, a company Dr Gray founded. Sirtex has won cross claims it launched against Dr Gray and UWA and is currently seeking to cover its legal costs of more than $5.5 million.

Sirtex has gone from strength to strength in the commercialisation of the treatment, with revenues for the 2009 financial year surging 72 per cent to $65.6 million.

The Sydney-based company reported a profit after tax of $18.23 million, a substantial jump on the previous year's $1.2 million.

At stake was Dr Gray's 29.52 per cent holding in Sirtex, which today was valued at around $75 million.

Today, the court also ordered UWA to pay Dr Gray's costs.

In a statement, UWA said it was considering its options following today's judgement.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Alan Robson said the university had initiated the action following independent legal advice in order to protect its intellectual property and to uphold its regulations on ownership of patents developed by its staff.

"The University's course of action was a matter of principle that had important ramifications for the protection of intellectual property and the flow-on benefits of university-initiated research to the broader community," Professor Robson said.

 

 

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