RJ Reynolds Wins Court Battle with Star Scientific


In the court battle between RJ Reynolds Tobacco Co. and Star Scientific, a federal jury decided Tuesday RJ Reynolds did not infringe on two patents claimed by Star Scientific for a tobacco-curing method.


Following the ruling, Star Scientific shares lost nearly 80% of their value in late trading, the Associated Press reported.


Star Scientific had sued RJ Reynolds-a division of North Carolina-based Reynolds American-in 2001 over a method of treating tobacco to prevent the formation of tobacco-specific nitrosamines.


In March, the Supreme Court refused to hear the case, which lead to the trial in U.S. District Court in the Northern Division of Maryland that brought Tuesday’s verdict.


Petersburg, Va.-based Star Scientific said it would ask the district court judge to rule in its favor as a matter of law or for a new trial. Failing that, it said it would file a notice that it intends to appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals.


Shares of Star Scientific Inc. closed at $4.21 before the verdict, but fell $3.33, or 79 percent, to 87 cents in late trading, the Associated Press reported. In contrast, Reynolds American shares fell 22 cents to close at $36.33, then rose 71 cents to $37.04 after the verdict in after-hours trading.




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