Inverness Medical Innovations Inc. (NYSE:IMA) filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Church & Dwight Co. Inc. (NYSE:CHD), accusing it of infringing a patent used in pregnancy tests.
The Waltham, Mass.-based diagnostics and lab equipment maker sued Princeton, N.J.-based Church & Dwight — best known as the maker of Arm & Hammer baking soda — in the U.S. District Court for Massachusetts, alleging that CHD infringed an Inverness patent for “Flow Sensing for Determination of Assay Results,” according to court documents.
Inverness, to which the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office granted the patent Jan. 8, 2008, licensed the patent to SPD Swiss Precision Diagnostics GmbH, which manufactures the Clearblue Easy pregnancy test Inverness sells in the U.S. The lawsuit alleges that C&D‘s competing First Response Gold test violates at least one claim of the Inverness patent.
According to court documents, Inverness wants a jury trial, an injunction against C&D barring sales of the allegedly infringing test, the destruction of any products deemed to be infringing, damages, interest and attorney’s fees.
The legal arena isn’t the only front to have seen activity from Inverness, which has been a busy bee on the acquisitions trail already in 2010. The company offered to buy a three-quarters stake in Korean rapid diagnostics maker Standard Diagnostics (KDQ:066930) for up to $216.6 million earlier today, bidding about $35.72 for 75.79 percent (or just more than 6 million shares) of Standard Diagnostics, provided that at least roughly 2.4 million shares, or 30 percent of the total issued, are tendered.
The company also inked a group of distribution-to-acquisition deals with Epocal Inc. last week that could lead to it paying $255 million for the of Ottawa, Canada-based blood testing equipment maker. That five-year arrangement starts with a deal for Inverness to sell Epocal’s Epoc rapid blood gas and electrolyte analysis platform. Inverness paid $20 million for the right to distribute the system worldwide, except for Japan, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka; a second agreement calls for the two companies to collaborate in expanding Inverness’ portfolio of point-of-care testing platforms. The third and perhaps biggest deal will see Inverness pay a base price of up to $172.5 million to buy Epocal outright, contingent on that company achieving certain gross margin and financial milestones before Oct. 31, 2014. Epocal can add another $82.5 million to the purchase price if it meets other benchmarks, including product development and gross margin goals.
Inverness also bought British CRO Mologic in October, registering nearly 129,000 shares worth about $5 million held by a group of Mologic founders and managers.
MA put some black in back on the ledger during the third quarter. The company logged a 22.1 percent increase in revenues compared with Q3 2008, largely on a jump in sales of its influenza diagnostic tests and contributions from acquisitions.
Inverness posted net income of $14.3 million on net sales of $535.8 million for the three months ended Sept. 30, compared with a net loss of $9.1 million on sales of $438.8 million during the same period last year. The company credited strong sales of products related to Swine Flu for the improvement.