* PATENT wars are heating up. British drug manufacturer Glaxo has won one patents case against a Canadian manufacturer, but faces a second against another. Both claim Glaxo's products -- stable and unstable forms of Zantac -- are not different enough to justify different patents. Zantac is the world's best-selling ulcer drug, which brought the company L2.17 billion in the last financial year.
* To allay fears of environmental damage, most European companies give environmental information in their annual reports. But Swiss chemicals and pharmaceuticals group Ciba has just published a separate Corporate Environmental Report 1992, which is to be updated annually. It is modelled on a typical financial report.
* With the launch of its T3D, Cray Research Inc of the US has entered the burgeoning world of parallel computers, which greatly increase computing speed. Cray has long dominated the supercomputer industry, but this is its first foray into parallel computers.
* Wal-Mart, a leading retail chain in USA, is finding it difficult to please environmentalists. Its new store in Kansas is claimed to be eco-friendly, but ecologists say the supermarket -- dubbed Eco-Mart -- will add to urban sprawl and make people spend more energy on transportation for shopping.
* Leading cosmetic manufacturers such as Avon and Estee Lauder are jumping onto the bandwagon of the breast cancer awareness movement, keeping in mind the fact that the potentially fatal disease can be a powerful selling tool. Avon's 415,000 saleswomen in the US will be armed with pink ribbons, a symbol of breast cancer awareness, and 15 million brochures on the disease.
* A retired pilot in California seeks to establish an air charter service specifically for smokers, as US regulations forbid smoking on domestic flights, but does not ban smoking on charter travel.
* Sandoz Pharma Ltd and Roussel Uclaf are investing almost $60 million in biotechnology companies to fund research into drugs, even as the Wellcome group is taking over part of an American biotechnology group that is conducting trials of an anti-stomach cancer drug.
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