Miclev Settles Trademark Lawsuit With ATCC

Published: May 25, 2006

WASHINGTON, May 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Miclev, a company that supplies the Scandinavian market with biotech diagnostic tests, has settled a trademark infringement lawsuit filed against it by U.S.-based ATCC over the misuse of the trademark ATCC(R).

In its lawsuit ATCC charged that Miclev, without ATCC's consent, improperly used the mark ATCC(R) in marketing and sales of Miclev's microorganisms.

Under the terms of the settlement, Miclev must join and comply with ATCC's Licensed Derivative Program if it uses the ATCC Licensed Derivative(TM) emblem and Catalog Marks. ATCC created its Licensed Derivative Program to ensure that its microorganisms -- which are resold and used worldwide by hundreds of laboratories, universities and companies -- are not altered or compromised in any way. ATCC's program assures consumers that microorganisms found in products carrying this emblem meet ATCC's world-renowned standards for quality and safety.

"This legal action and subsequent settlement demonstrates that ATCC will aggressively pursue with all the means at our disposal any organization in the world that risks the integrity of our brand and the safety of the public by using ATCC microorganisms improperly," said Dr. Jesus Soriano, ATCC's Vice President of Licensing, Contracts and Compliance. "It is unfortunate, but imperative that we take such action in order to try to protect the consumers around the world who are using ATCC microorganisms every day."

ATCC, also known as American Type Culture Collection, is the world's largest biological resource center and the most comprehensive source of reference cultures and reagents used by researchers in academic, government and industrial laboratories.

By joining the ATCC Licensed Derivative(TM) Program, companies agree to maintain the integrity of the ATCC ingredient contained in their product and allow ATCC to verify the identity of that ATCC ingredient before it reaches end users. The ATCC Licensed Derivative(TM) emblem is the symbol that signifies that ATCC ingredients in ATCC-derived products are endorsed by the organization. Without the emblem, customers lack ATCC's assurance that the microbial strains contained in quality control products have been handled according to ATCC's specifications.

Since 1925, ATCC has set the standard for authenticating and distributing biological materials for life science research in the public and private sector. ATCC's mission is to acquire, authenticate, preserve, develop, and distribute biological materials, information, technology, intellectual property, and standards for the advancement, validation, and application of scientific knowledge. Located in Manassas, Virginia, ATCC operates as a not- for-profit biological resource center, providing biological materials for use under the terms of a material transfer agreement (MTA).

While ATCC assures the authenticity of biomaterials and research tools provided by itself and its exclusive distributors, the organization cannot do the same in situations where for-profit companies have incorporated ATCC biomaterials into their own commercial products, a practice that lies outside the scope of the MTA. In those situations, ATCC does not have a relationship with the product's seller, making it impossible to vouch for the identity of the ATCC materials as they are applied in their final form.

Miclev supplies the Scandinavian market with diagnostic products for industrial microbiology and contamination control. It serves the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries as well as other laboratories in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland.

"We welcome Miclev as a member of ATCC's Licensed Derivative Program and we are happy we were able to resolve this litigation in a way that satisfies the needs of both our companies," Dr. Soriano said. "But most important, this settlement helps safeguard the health and well-being of consumers around the world."


CONTACT: Todd Felts of Levick Strategic Communications, +1-202-973-1330,tfelts@levick.com, for ATCC

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