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Comvita ordered to pay GBP400,000 in costs

Monday 7th February 2011

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Natural health products company Comvita says it will appeal after a British court ordered it to pay costs of up to 400,000 pounds (NZ$837,000) after the company lost a patent infringement case.

Comvita said today it would apply to the British Court of Appeal, after legal advice confirmed the company's view that the original court ruling was flawed on several grounds to Comvita's disadvantage.

In December Comvita reported the Patents County Court in Britain had ruled against Comvita's claim of patent infringement by company Brightwake. The judge had ruled Comvita's patent invalid.

At the time, Comvita described the ruling as "extremely disappointing and unexpected".

Today Comvita said it was to make an interim costs payment of 287,000 pounds to Brightwake by the end of February, with details of the balance to be decided at a future court hearing.

Comvita would take a provision of costs for the full amount this financial year.

The cost to Comvita of its appeal was expected to be less than 100,000 pounds, the company said.

A stay on revocation of Comvita's patent had been granted by the British courts until an appeal, if granted, was heard.

Also today, Comvita said its global licensee for Medihoney specialist wound care products, Derma Sciences Inc, had announced positive results of a phase 2 clinical trial for new wound healing drug DSC127.

Comvita had a 13% ownership - 11.6% fully diluted for all warrants and options on issue - of Derma Sciences, a Nasdaq public listed company.

Derma Sciences' share price had more than doubled in the lead up to and since the announcement, and that had a material impact on the value of Comvita's strategic shareholding in Derma Sciences, Comvita said.



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