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UK BestNet Ltd - VF Lawsuit

Answer to communique issued by Vestergaard-Frandsen in regards to UK lawsuit against Bestnet ltd et al

Vestergaard-Frandsen's letter can be found on their website.

July 9th

Bestnet legal representation once again clarifies that there is no injunction against the Netprotect mosquito net. It is not in violation of any intellectual proterty of Vestergaard-Frandsen and Bestnet is allowed to and do continue their work ensure the rights of those suffering under the burden of malaria to a decent life. Letter in pdf format here

July 1st 2009

Update after the judge has heard both sides. The Netprotect that is on the market does not infring on any rights of Vestergaard and the judge has not placed any injunctions on Bestnet. Bestnet will remain supplier to the fight against malaria of one of the most stellar tools on the market.

Letter from the Bestnet legal representative here

Update May 22nd 2009

The hearing on May 21nd confirmed that there is not injunction on Netprotect, and that Bestnet can go on selling the product now and in the future. People who hear otherwise are welcome to contact us or Bestnet for clarifications. Please read a letter from the Bestnet legal representation here - pdf

Update May 14th

We here present a letter from the lawyers representing Bestnet ltd in this case, which addresses the VF communique.

At this time we are respectfully awaiting for the judge presiding over the case to exact remedies. We are confident that Bestnet ltd will go on with their business. We will not counter the Vestergaard-Frandsen letter with similar emotive language but post the verdict in full as it is issued.

Please find the referenced paragraph in full below the letter. We do not wish to mislead anyone by partial references.

Letter from McGuireWoods London LLP (click here for opening in pdf for distribution or print out )

14 May 2009

Dear [              ]

Bestnet Europe Limited and its product “Netprotect”

We act for Bestnet Europe Limited (“Bestnet”) in connection with proceedings which were commenced in the High Court in London in January 2007 by Vestergaard Frandsen (“VF”).  We have been asked to write to you to clarify the situation following the Judgment which was handed down by the Court on 3 April 2009, since we understand that [you are a customer of our client.]

When these proceedings were commenced in January 2007, VF claimed an injunction to restrain Bestnet and the other defendants from selling, offering for sale or manufacturing Netprotect polyethylene nets containing insecticide.

This was based in particular on Netprotect being manufactured according to recipes identical to or substantially similar to the production recipe of VF’s product Fence.

On 3 April 2009 in response to VF’s continued claim for an injunction preventing the manufacture and sale of Bestnet’s current Netprotect product, the Judge commented as follows:

            “I will merely observe that it is not obvious to me that an injunction is an appropriate remedy or, if it is, that it should extend to preventing the manufacture and sale of the defendant’s current product.  Although I have concluded that Dr Skovmand misused VF’s trade secrets, he did not simply copy any particular recipes.  Moreover, the misuse of VF’s trade secrets I have found was merely the starting point for a substantial program of further development which resulted in a formulation which was different from any of VF’s recipes in a number of respects.” 

He then went onto describe three essential differences between VF’s recipes and Bestnet’s formulation.

There is to be a further hearing on 21 May 2009 when the Judge will hear further argument in relation to remedies but it is important to note that unless the Judge changes his mind, Bestnet will be at liberty to continue to manufacture and sell Netprotect.  In any event, Bestnet intends to appeal against the conclusion that the defendants are liable for breach of confidence.

The Judgment is 245 pages long, and recently a public version has been released which has been redacted to conceal confidential information which we can send to you should that be of assistance.

You may also have been told of an injunction obtained by VF in India. This injunction was obtained in the absence of Bestnet but in any event Bestnet's Indian lawyers advise it does not extend to an insecticide incorporated net like Netprotect.


There are no court orders of which we are aware in any jurisdiction which prevent the manufacture and sale of Netprotect.


We hope that this letter is helpful but should you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact the writer, Michael Tackley, who would be delighted to try to assist
you further.

Yours faithfully

 

McGuireWoods London LLP

 

672.                  Accordingly, at this stage I will merely observe that it is not obvious to me that an injunction is an appropriate remedy or, if it is, that it should extend to preventing the manufacture and sale of the Defendants’ current product. Although I have concluded that Dr Skovmand misused VF’s trade secrets, he did not simply copy any particular recipes. Moreover, the misuse of VF’s trade secrets I have found was merely the starting point for a substantial program of further development which resulted in a formulation which is different from any of VF’s recipes in a number of respects, and in particular (i) the polymer composition (at least in the case of the sample submitted for WHOPES II evaluation), (ii) the inclusion of [Additive L] and (iii) the inclusion of [Additive M]. In addition, a substantial period of time has elapsed since then.   

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