The University of Wisconsin’s patent-licensing arm must pay Washington University in St. Louis, its former partner in medical research, $31.6 million for breaching a royalties contract related to the sale of an AbbVie Inc.kidney-disease drug.
The judgment, issued Monday alongside a sealed opinion in federal court in Wilmington, Delaware, marks the culmination of a rare legal fight involving two universities that had formed a patent-licensing deal with a corporation.
The dispute has its roots in the early 1990s, when researchers at Washington University and Wisconsin began collaborating on treatments of conditions associated with kidney disease. The scientists applied for a patent connected to one such treatment in 1995, and the schools signed an agreement allowing the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, which handles licensing for the university, to take the lead in obtaining the patent and licensing it in return for a larger share of any royalties. Read the full story here.