Reverse Payments - Hot Button Issue

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The issue of a patent litigation settlement in the form of payments by a brand name drug company to the defendant to delay marketing a generic version of its brand name counterpart is heating up this summer. Indeed, it is currently both before the Supreme Court and Congress.

A group of indirect purchasers filed a petition with the Supreme Court seeking review of the Federal Circuit’s decision in In Re:Ciprofloxacin finding that Bayer’s $398 million payment to Barr and Hoechst Marion Roussel (now Sanofi-Aventis) to delay marketing a generic version of a drug did not violate federal antitrust laws. Arkansas Carpenters Health and Welfare Fund is asking the court to determine whether reverse payments to settle patent litigation are per se lawful without regard to the amount paid or strength of the underlying patent challenge. This is the third time the issue of reverse payments has been brought to the Supreme Court. The Court refused to hear the prior two cases.

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