MONTREAL, November 22, 2021– (COMMERCIAL THREAD) – In March 2019, Medisca Pharmaceutique Inc. acquired Samix GmbH, a German manufacturer of preparation systems for pharmacies. Following this acquisition, Medisca assisted Samix in its various disputes with Samix’s main competitor, the GAKO group made up of among others GAKO Konietzko GmbH and GAKO International GmbH (collectively, “the former Gako”), which have since become insolvent. During the insolvency proceedings, the former company of GAKO was acquired by Fagron in February 2020 and is now continued by the newly created subsidiary of Fagron, GAKO Deutschland GmbH.
The heart of the legal disputes concerned the ownership of intellectual property and know-how relating to composition systems and their design. The former GAKO claimed that it allegedly owns all the know-how and intellectual property, while Samix (as a successor to SMS Elap GmbH & Co KG) has always maintained that all the know-how and intellectual property belonged to to SMS even though they developed and manufactured the UNGUATOR mixing systems for the old GAKOs.
In May 2016, the former GAKO initiated preliminary injunction proceedings against Samix, alleging that by continuing the SMS business, Samix had unfairly exploited the know-how belonging to GAKO and unfairly imitated the (former) design of UNGUATOR mixers and jars. The alleged misuse of trade secrets was rejected at first instance (Landgericht Meiningen [HK O 19/16]) as well as in appeal (Thuringian Oberlandesgericht [2 U 532/16]), validating Samix’s position that the old GAKO did not have the know-how relating to compounding systems. Only with regard to the mixers, the Court of Appeal found an allegedly abusive imitation of the (old) design of the UNGUATOR mixers.
“Despite lawsuits in which Samix has been involved from 2016, Medisca acquired the German manufacturer in order to secure the supply chain for a range of products that has become even more critical for prep pharmacies around the world â, said Panagiota Danopoulos, SVP Global Strategy & Innovation at Medisca. “We were convinced that Samix and its employees were instrumental in the development of electronic mortar and pestle for our customers around the world.. Aligned with Medisca’s strategic priority of building and defending our intellectual property portfolio of key innovations and product investments, Medisca has invested in Samix and has supported its commercial and legal position in such lawsuits â.
In March 2021, after the insolvency of the old GAKO, Samix successfully obtained the revocation of the provisional injunction of the old GAKO which was lifted by default judgment (Landgericht Meiningen [HK O 55/20]), thus removing all restrictions on distribution in Germany.
The former GAKO had also filed corresponding main action proceedings in October 2016, also based on allegedly unfair product imitation and the misappropriation of trade secrets. While the old GAKO’s action was again partially upheld at first instance concerning the allegedly unfair imitation of product relating to mixers and mixing blades, the action was dismissed in view of all other accessories and , more particularly, also with regard to the alleged misappropriation of trade secrets (Landgericht Meiningen [HK O 53/16]). Samix and former GAKO both appealed the decision. Following a suspension due to the insolvency of the former GAKO, the procedure was resumed at the request of Samix.
On September 9, 2021, the Court of Appeal allowed Samix’s appeal while dismissing GAKO’s appeal by default judgment (Thuringian Oberlandesgericht [1 U 187/19]). The default judgment is final and enforceable and, therefore, GAKO’s claims have been entirely dismissed.
Samix considers this outcome of the main proceedings as an additional validation by the German courts of the fact that the know-how created and developed by SMS has never been acquired by the former GAKO and that Samix has always possessed this know-how. .
âI am delighted to see that after lengthy lawsuits with no legal basis, the German courts have recognized that old Gako had never been the rightful owner of the intellectual property and know-how of Samix! continued Panagiota Danopoulos. âThis is a pivotal moment for Medisca and Samix as we strengthen our position in the market as industry leaders. Medisca will always take the necessary measures to protect the assets and intellectual property rights of its companies.; and we will continue to support Samix as it continues to innovate and design for our customers globally, while protecting its business and market position in Europe, North America and Australia. “
April 22, 2021, in order to further protect all investments made in the development of its unique and proprietary know-how, part of which was used in recent UNGUATOR devices marketed by GAKO, Samix has initiated legal proceedings for misappropriation of trade secrets against the former trustee of GAKO which sold the assets of the former insolvent GAKO, the absorbing entity – GAKO Deutschland GmbH – and its managing directors, and the parent company, Fagron BV, which Samix considers responsible for the acquisition.
Medisca is the leader in providing turnkey solutions to the pharmaceutical preparation industry and allied health professionals around the world. Committed to being a comprehensive resource for prescribers, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians engaged in personalized medicine, Medisca offers high quality products, cutting edge support and first class training through its partner LP3 Network. Founded in 1989, the company is established in Canada, the United States and Australia, thus optimizing its service to the international market. For more information on Medisca, please visit www.medisca.com and follow us on Twitter at @medisca.
Samix is ââa leading manufacturer of electronic mortar and pestle mixers and accessories for pharmaceutical, cosmetic and scientific applications. Samix has been in business for over 10 years with an ISO 9001 head office and manufacturing facility located in Germany. As an innovative company, Samix is ââconstantly looking for new ideas to make its products more sustainable, more efficient and more sustainable.
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SVP Global Strategy & Innovation at Medisca
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