In the April/May issue of IP Law & Business, we reported on the plight of Bob Shafer, a Stanford University scientist embroiled in a dispute with Luxembourg-based Advanced Biological Laboratories, S.A. (ABL). ABL claimed it owned two patents that were being infringed by the world-renowned HIV-drug resistance database Shafer created, HIVdb.
To recap quickly: After ABL sent Stanford claim charts and a letter asserting its patent rights, Stanford sued to invalidate the patents. That case settled, with Stanford agreeing to post a notice on the database stating that users of HIVdb might infringe ABL's patents.
ABL subsequently sued Stanford, saying the university had violated the settlement terms; the company also sued Shafer for defamation, based largely on comments he posted on his website, harmfulpatents.org. Shafer, tapping his own savings, hired attorneys at Day Casebeer to file reexams on the two ABL patents. (Day Casebeer has since been purchased by Howrey LLP.)
ABL's counterclaims against both Stanford and Shafer individually have now been settled. And it certainly appears that Chalom Sayada, the French doctor who is ABL’s CEO, has concerns about how the litigation makes him look to HIV researchers. The joint settlement statement reads, in part: