Finding that an in-house lawyer tried to deceive the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, a federal judge ruled Abbott Laboratories’ patent unenforceable.

Illinois-based Abbott had sued Bayer and other pharmaceutical makers over a patent on strips used by diabetics to test their blood. Judge William Alsup of the Northern District of California made a finding of inequitable conduct on Tuesday, saying that the patent in question had been obtained only because Abbott attorney Lawrence Pope had withheld key information in connection with the patent filing.

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