Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Abbott loses big time to J&J over Humira

After five hours of deliberations on June 29, an ED Texas jury found Abbott’s actions in selling Humira, in view of J&J's patent position, to be willful and determined J&J is owed $1.17 billion in lost profits and $504 million in royalties. Abbott plans to appeal the verdict, which is the largest in US history. [The invention was developed at NYU.]

One recalls that an earlier verdict against Microsoft, of $1.52 billion in the Alcatel-Lucent case, was overturned on appeal.

WSJ noted:

The two companies have been engaged in patent disputes over the competing therapies and a newer product, which belong to a class called anti-tumor necrosis factor, or anti-TNF, all drugs with billions of dollars in yearly sales.

Kim Taylor, president of Centocor Ortho Biotech, said in a statement that the company was "particularly gratified that the jury recognized our valuable intellectual property, finding our patent both valid and infringed" and will continue asserting its patent rights for its rheumatoid arthritis therapies.

Humira is Abbott's biggest seller, accounting for $4.5 billion in sales, or 15% of the company's revenues last year.

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