Japanese dispute settled

21. 3. 2000

Ljubljana, 21 March – Lek d.d. and the Japanese company Fujimoto Pharmaceutical Corporation have settled their dispute with the companies SmithKline & French Laboratories, Ltd., and SmithKline Beecham Seiyaku KK (SK&F/SBS). The dispute arose from the sale of cimetidine under the trademark Cylock in Japan. SK&F/SBS and Fujimoto have both settled appeals in the Tokyo High Court against an award of damages by the Tokyo District Court. Part of the settlement is the agreement that Fujimoto will withdraw an invalidity action of Japanese Patent 1062766 against SK&F/SBS. The patent, which expired in September 1993, protects a process for the manufacture of cimetidine.

In the fifteen years of managing cimetidine patent disputes, Lek as the supplier of the active ingredient to the Japanese partner Fujimoto Pharmaceutical Corporation, has built in its balance sheet provisions for potential risks in this project. Therefore, in the finally concluded legal procedures, the settlement will have no negative effect on Lek’s current financial performance and goals for the year 2000 and beyond.

The opinion of Metod Dragonja, President of Lek’s Board of Management is that the final settlement of the long-lasting patent dispute was professionally concluded and will provide that future risks arising from the cimetidine project are now eliminated.