There has been an increase in antitrust enforcement by the government agencies in the life sciences area. AGG will present a program on February 27, 2014, on the “Hot Topics” that companies and in-house counsel should be sensitive to with respect to antitrust.
The Supreme Court recently ruled in Federal Trade Comm’n v. Actavis, Inc. ___U.S. ___, 133 S.Ct. 2223 (2013) that “pay for delay” settlements (those which involve a reverse payment from a branded manufacturer to the generic company) have the potential to have genuine adverse effects on competition. The Court ruled that these settlements should be examined under the “rule of reason” to determine whether Section 1 of the Sherman Act is violated. The decision has been interpreted by lower courts to mean that the cases to be examined apply to patent settlements that contain an unjustified reverse payment of money.
The program will also address “patent trolls”. Patent trolls involve companies who seek to enforce patent rights against alleged infringers in an attempt to collect licensing fees or legal settlements. Most commonly, patent troll companies acquire patents, often from bankrupt firms, and then sue another company. The FTC has become very active in the patent troll area. Our program will discuss recent FTC action in this area, including the MPHJ litigation.
Another area to be addressed during the webinar will be “product hopping”. Pharmaceutical product hopping occurs when branded drug companies use new drug formulation to allegedly harm competition from generic rivals. The FTC has expressed concern for this practice because of the delay of generic entry into the market. Recently, Abbott Laboratories and its co-defendants paid $250 million to settle claims involving allegations of product hopping.
I look forward to discussing these issues and others at our webinar.
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