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Abbot Sues French AIDS Group

French HIV/AIDS Advocacy Group Act up-Paris has landed into trouble with the Act up-Paris filing a law suit against them for a cyber attack on their web site. This was reported in the Wall Street journal.

Act Up-Paris on April 26 organized an attack on Abbott's Web server in response to a call from Thai HIV/AIDS groups to protest Abbott's recent actions regarding its antiretrovirals Aluvia and Kaletra in Thailand.

Pharmaceutical company Abbott Laboratories has offered to sell its antiretroviral drug Aluvia, an updated version of its antiretroviral Kaletra, at a reduced price in Thailand on the condition that the country agrees to not allow generic versions of the drug into the market.

The group encouraged between 500 and 1,000 HIV/AIDS advocates from Canada, France, India, Thailand and the U.S. to click on a link posted on Act Up-Paris' Web site that caused Abbott's server to become overloaded. This disrupted the working of the web site for more than half hour. The site hanged prior to the shareholders meeting causing a lot of in convenience.

The business of the Abbot Company was disrupted. The online sale of the company product was interrupted.

Abbott also alleges that the group violated two articles of the French penal code that prohibit disrupting a Web site and providing the means to do so.

"We don't have any issue with the right to protest or the fact that organizations disagree on different things," Abbott spokeswoman Jennifer Smoter said on Monday. "But it's really important for us when organizations convey those disagreements that they do it in a respectful and appropriate way, and a way that doesn't break the law."

Act Up-Paris will defend itself against the lawsuit and plans to use media coverage of the lawsuit to draw attention to Abbott's actions in Thailand. "We're going to use the forum [Abbott is] offering us to talk about Thailand again and the horrible cons equences their decision has had there." According to Act up-Paris spokes person.

If the court rules against Act-Up Paris, the group could be fined as much as 75,000 euros, or $100,000, and be ordered to disband.




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