ODT/NZPA: Varied interpretation of science led to lawsuit

Comvita New Zealand has pulled its research commission from the University of Waikato, instead giving it to the University of Auckland.

The disagreement was over the active ingredient of manuka honey, which Comvita New Zealand expected Univeristy of Waikato scientists to find: they were, however, beaten to the discovery by German scientists.

An excerpt: (read in full here)

“The two companies signed a comprehensive intellectual property and research agreement in December 2006 covering uses of medical honey in the field of woundcare and skincare, with provision for $3.5m to be paid in instalments, plus an additional $500,000 if certain milestones could be met.

“But the companies ended up in court with Comvita saying it had relied heavily on the representations made by Waikatolink about progress its research team made in isolating and classifying the active compound.”