In Business This Week
J&J MAY SURVIVE ITS COMPOUND FRACTURE
Johnson & Johnson can keep its fiberglass casts on the market--for the time being, at least. On Aug. 16, a federal appeals court in Washington upheld J&J's request to delay an injunction compelling it to pull most of the products off the shelves. In July, another federal court ruled the products infringed 3M patents. J&J is appealing.
The case stems from J&J's alleged theft of trade secrets in 1985. Company chemists were charged with using samples stolen by a disgruntled 3M employee to unlock the secrets of 3M's cutting-edge cast materials (BW--May 20). J&J requested the delay from the court because it says it has begun shipping a new fiberglass cast that doesn't infringe 3M's patent.EDITED BY PETER FINCH