ABS Anti-Trust Litigation Factsheet

What you need to know:

  • ABS Global Inc. (ABS), a division of Genus plc, was granted a permanent injunction that paved the way for ABS to launch its innovative 21st century sexing technology designed to meet the needs of dairy and beef producers around the world. In granting the permanent injunction, the Court confirmed that Sexing Technologies (ST) is prevented from enforcing certain research, marketing and non-compete restrictions under the 2012 Semen Sorting Agreement between ST and ABS.
  • Following the March 31, 2017 injunction, ST has issued two press releases restating August 2016 litigation outcomes to cause confusion and diminish the impact of the permanent injunction against them. To clarify, this is old information and a restatement of old news releases from last year.
  • The Court ruling on March 31 clears the way for ABS to launch its own brand of sexed genetics, Sexcel™, in 2017. Sexcel is produced through a novel technology for sexing bovine semen that does not subject the cells to the high pressures, electric currents and shear forces of the technology currently in use in the industry.
  • Our excitement around Sexcel continues to grow and this news further strengthens our belief in paving a new way for the industry and for ABS in the near future.

Background:

In August 2016:

  • On August 12, 2016, ABS won a lawsuit proving that ST willfully maintained monopoly power in the market for sexed bovine semen processing in the U.S. The jury found that ABS had not proved that it had suffered injury as a result of ST’s willful maintenance of monopoly power.
  • Also on August 12, 2016, the jury considered ST’s counter claims related to two of its U.S. patents (numbers 8,206,987 and 8,198,092) and ST’s counter claims that Genus breached confidentiality obligations under the 2012 semen sorting agreement between the parties.
  • The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin jury announced that Genus should pay an upfront payment as well as an ongoing royalty on commercialization of Genus Sexed Semen (GSS) technology for the use of two of ST’s U.S. patents, both of which had been determined by the jury to be valid and infringed.
  • In respect to ABS’s breach of the confidentiality obligations under the 2012 Semen Sorting Agreement between the parties, the jury determined damages to be $750,000.

In March 2017:

  • On March 31, 2017, the Court granted ABS a permanent injunction in connection with its litigation against ST. In granting the permanent injunction, the Court confirmed that ST is prevented from enforcing certain research, marketing and non-compete restrictions under the 2012 Semen Sorting Agreement between ST and ABS.
  • This injunction also allows other bull studs in the U.S. to terminate their ST sexed semen processing agreements on 12 months’ notice, without damage or penalty. The injunction will remain in force for five years and ST is required by the Court to give prompt written notice of the Court’s decision to other bull studs using their services.
  • ABS sought the injunction in light of the jury finding in August 2016, that ST had willfully maintained monopoly power in the market for sexed bovine semen processing in the U.S. since July 2012.