Star Scientifiic denied new trial in patent infringement - files appeal..

December 23, 2009 - A federal judge in Maryland has denied Star Scientific Inc.'s request for a new trial after the company lost a patent infringement case against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.

Star has now filed a notice of appeal, which was filed in the US District Court for Maryland, states that Star is appealing to the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit the judgment, orders and decisions specified in the notice, including the judgment resulting from the June, 2009 jury verdict in favor of RJR. (Notice of Appeal Filed by Star Scientific in Patent Infringement Lawsuit, RedOrbit, 12/23/2009.)

Star filed the lawsuit in 2001 against Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Reynolds, the nation's second largest tobacco company. The lawsuit claimed that Reynolds had infringed Star's patents for a process designed to reduce some cancer-causing constituents in cured tobacco leaf. Reynolds countered that Star's patents should not have been granted. (Star Scientific Inc. Files Suit Against R.J. Reynolds to Enforce Patent for Curing Tobacco to Substantially Prevent the Formation of Cancer-causing Tobacco Specific Nitrosamines - TSNAs, - Business Services Industry, 5/24/2001)

In March 2009, the Supreme Court refused to hear the case, clearing the way for the trial that led to Tuesday's verdict in U.S. District Court in the Northern Division of Maryland.

A federal jury ruled on June 2009 that RJ Reynolds Tobacco Co. did not infringe on two patents claimed by Star Scientific for a tobacco-curing method. Star Scientific shares lost nearly 80 percent of their value in late trading. (UPDATE 3-Star Scientific loses Reynolds U.S. patent dispute, Reuters, 6/16/2009)
The U.S. Patent and Trademark office also is re-examining the patents at Reynolds' request. Pending the outcome of the patent review and the appeal, U.S. District Court Judge Marvin J. Garbis stayed a decision on whether Star should pay attorneys fees and other costs that Reynolds incurred as a result of the lawsuit.

Reference: Judges denies new trial for Star Scientific, Staff Reports, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 12/23/2009.

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