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Indigenous Peoples Updates

Read Indigenous Peoples Law updates, alerts, news, and legal analysis from leading lawyers and law firms:

The Trump Administration announced two key appointments to Indian Affairs posts in the Department of the Interior this week

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

Tara Sweeney, an Iñupiaq citizen, has been nominated to serve as the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs in the Department of the Interior. Ms. Sweeney’s nomination is subject to confirmation by the Senate, which will...more

Senators and court complain of ‘anti-competitive’ transfer of patent rights to American Indian tribe

We have previously discussed antitrust implications of pharmaceutical companies’ efforts to maximize patent protection for their drugs. Consumers and generic drug makers, for instance, have alleged antitrust violations based...more

Sovereign Immunity and Inter Partes Review

by Knobbe Martens on

Sovereign immunity refers to the doctrine that the government cannot be sued without its consent. Specifically, the 11th Amendment precludes federal courts from exercising jurisdiction over states in suits brought by private...more

Patents for Billion Dollar Restasis Drug Under Siege

Using an innovative strategy, pharmaceutical company Allergan recently transferred the patents associated with the eye drug, Restasis, to the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe, in exchange for an exclusive license back. The tribe...more

Court Permits St. Regis Mohawk Tribe to Join Restasis® Litigation, but Nixes Allergan’s Patents

by Goodwin on

Today, Judge Bryson, a Federal Circuit judge sitting by designation in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division, issued an Opinion and Order granting Allergan’s motion to join the St. Regis...more

Court Declines to Vacate Environmental Assessment of Dakota Access Pipeline, Permitting Oil to Flow during Remand

On October 11, 2017, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia declined to vacate the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (“Corps”) Environmental Assessment (“EA”) of the Dakota Access Pipeline while the agency...more

Your Daily Dose of Financial News

by Robins Kaplan LLP on

Despite a stronger global economic outlook than we’ve seen in years, the world’s central bankers appear loath to let go of stimulus measures while lower-than-expected inflation bedevils them....more

Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe Receives Partial Victory in South Dakota Tax Case

by Holland & Knight LLP on

HIGHLIGHTS: •In a recent case before the U.S. District Court for the District of South Dakota, Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe v. Gerlach, the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe (Tribe) won a partial, but significant, victory...more

The Department of the Interior Proposes Additional Regulatory Hurdles to Restoring Tribal Homelands

On October 4, the Acting Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs proposed substantial changes to the current land into trust process by circulating a Consultation Draft to Tribal leaders. This new proposal impacts every Tribe....more

The Restasis Patents and Tribal Sovereign Immunity: New Developments

by Polsinelli on

The battle between Mylan and Allergan over the six Orange Book patents covering Restasis has taken a next formal step. On Sept. 22, the new patent-owner, the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe, moved to dismiss Mylan’s requests for...more

Court Holds Project Construction Constitutes “Mining” on Tribal Lands

by WilmerHale on

Last week, the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit held that excavation work performed by a private company when installing wind turbines constituted “mining” under the federal regulation governing mineral...more

Schwabe Defends Tribal Sovereignty

The trial team of Brien Flanagan, Aukjen Ingraham and Sarah Lawson successfully stood up to outside parties attempting to interfere in the Navajo Nation’s economic activity. Federal Judge Steven Logan granted the Navajo...more

Mohawk Nation Exercises Sovereign Immunity in Inter Partes Review

Not unexpectedly, on Friday, the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe (SRMT) filed a motion before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) to have inter partes review Nos. IPR2016-01127, IPR2016-01128, IPR2016-01129, IPR2016-01130,...more

Claimants of Aboriginal Title Over Private Lands Not Required to Notify Affected Landowners

In two decisions from September 2017, the British Columbia Supreme Court (Court) addressed the issue of whether to require a claimant for aboriginal title to serve formal notice on private registered owners of fee simple...more

Pharmaceutical Company Seeks to Use Tribal Sovereign Immunity to Avoid Inter Partes Review

by Snell & Wilmer on

Allergan announced on September 8, 2017, that it had transferred its patents covering the drug Restasis to the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe and will pay the tribe $13.75 million. The tribe is also eligible to receive $15 million...more

Allergan and the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe Enter Patent Agreement to Defend Against IPR of RESTASIS® Patents

by Knobbe Martens on

In a creative move to take advantage of recent PTAB decisions regarding Sovereign Immunity, (see e.g., Covidien LP v. University of Florida Research Foundation, IPR2016-01274 and Neochord, Inc. v. University of Maryland,...more

Mohawks To The Rescue? Can You Immunize Patents From PTAB Review By Assigning To A Native American Tribe?

by Pepper Hamilton LLP on

In an unusual move to combat the perceived bias in favor of patent challengers at the U.S. Patent Office’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), the Irish drug company Allergan has decided to warehouse its key patents on the...more

Pharma Patents Assigned to Indian Tribe to Thwart Inter Partes Review

by Foley & Lardner LLP on

As we have previously reported, sovereign immunity of state universities (who are instruments of state government) has been used to avoid IPRs under the immunity clause of the US Constitution (“Sovereign Immunity of State...more

A Special Thank You to Suzan Shown Harjo

Today marks the 25th anniversary of the filing of the petition to cancel the R-Word registrations held by Pro-Football, Inc., the NFL franchise playing near the Nation’s capital....more

Your Daily Dose of Financial News

by Robins Kaplan LLP on

Vanguard’s not well known for making waves, but the $4.5 trillion mutual-fund manager has quietly increased its corporate engagement activity over the past year—discussing governance, pay, and other issues with nearly a...more

Island Means Island: Pierce Atwood Successfully Defends Against Tribal Claim to Control State Waters

by Pierce Atwood LLP on

In 1980, the State of Maine, Congress, and Maine tribes entered into Settlement Acts to resolve claims that the tribes owned two-thirds of the State. In return for, among other things, federal recognition and money, the...more

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Issues Guidelines for Reporting on Cultural Resources Investigations for Natural Gas...

by Hogan Lovells on

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Office of Energy Projects, recently issued its Guidelines for Reporting on Cultural Resources Investigations for Natural Gas Projects (Guidelines)....more

Tribes Really Need More Than Sovereign Immunity Defense

The title of this article might seem familiar — it should. A year ago we published an article titled “Tribes Need More Than Just The Sovereign Immunity Defense.” In that article, we advised tribes about the value of liability...more

United States Liable as an Owner Under CERCLA for Contamination on Navajo Reservation Land

by Snell & Wilmer on

Last week, a United States District Court in Arizona held that the United States was an “owner” of Navajo Reservation Trust Land for purposes of CERCLA liability. See El Paso Nat. Gas Co. v. United States, 2017 WL 3492993 (D....more

AFRICA - A Legal Guide for Business Investment and Expansion: Zimbabwe

1 .What role does the government of Zimbabwe play in approving and regulating foreign direct investment? The Government established the Zimbabwe Investment Authority (ZIA) to promote, coordinate and approve investment...more

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