In Court

Published: Saturday 31 January 2004

Paying a price: A civil court in southern Bangkok, Thailand, has ordered state-owned Expressway and Rapid Transit Authority (eta) to pay six billion baht in compensation to BBCD Joint Venture Corporation for problems the private company met building the Bang Na-Chon Buri expressway. This has raised the hackles of the Thai government. The ETA contracted BBCD to build the expressway above the Bang Na-Trat highway in 1995. However, the ETA delayed handing over construction areas to BBCD for 11 months. Now, Judge Jiam Saowapa has backed an arbitration ruling reached in September 2001; it told the ETA to pay the compensation plus interest for the delays, and for changes to construction methods on the 55-km-long expressway.

Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has said the ETA would appeal against the verdict with the Supreme Court. "We must appeal and we will fight until there is not an arena left for us to fight." What if paying compensation was unavoidable? Thaksin said the government would find ways to reduce the sum because the compensation demanded was too high. In a different vein, transport minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit said the joint venture would be "blacklisted" as its participation in the ETA project led to the problems.

Patently, a face-off: Pharmacuetical giant GlaxoSmithKline Plc has filed a lawsuit against India's second largest generic drug manufacturer Reddy's Laboratories Ltd. The latter, it is charged, infringed patents related to Glaxo's anti-migraine drug Imitrex. The lawsuit comes in the wake of the Indian company filing an Abbreviated New Drug Application (anda) with the us Food & Drug Administration for Imitrex tablets in 25 milligramme (mg), 50 mg and 100 mg dosages. The company's application had challenged four of the five patents listed by Glaxo for the drug in the us. Sumatriptan succinate, the generic version of Imitrex, has annual sales of around us $773 million in the us.

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