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March 28, 2008

Intellectual Property

ACS Loses Leadscope Case

Ohio jury decides in favor of defendants' counterclaims against the society

William G. Schulz

An Ohio jury concluded on March 27 that the American Chemical Society must pay $19 million in compensatory damages and $7.5 million in punitive damages to Leadscope Inc., a Columbus-based chemical informatics company that the society says infringed on its intellectual property. The society said "it would pursue appropriate posttrial motions" and, if necessary, an appeal of the jury's decision.

"ACS is, of course, disappointed in the result of the trial," said Michael G. Long, an attorney at Vorys, Sater, Seymour & Pease, the firm that represented ACS. "Nonetheless, ACS continues to be committed to protecting its intellectual property. ACS remains confident in its position."

In 2002, ACS brought suit against Leadscope and three former ACS employees who founded the company: Paul E. Blower Jr., Wayne P. Johnson, and Glenn J. Myatt. All three had worked in ACS's Chemical Abstracts Service division.

In the original suit, ACS alleged that the defendants improperly used ACS's intellectual property to develop, patent, and market Leadscope software products. The Leadscope defendants filed a counterclaim against ACS, charging defamation, tortious interference with business relations, unfair competition, and deceptive trade practices. The jury found in favor of Leadscope on all but the last of the counterclaims.

Neither the attorneys for Leadscope nor CEO Loftus Lucas could be reached by C&EN for comment at press time.

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Chemical & Engineering News
ISSN 0009-2347
Copyright © 2009 American Chemical Society


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