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In a move that is capturing imaginations, Allergan has transferred patent rights to one of its biggest-selling drugs to a Native American tribe in hopes of thwarting challenges to its intellectual property.

The deal between the drug maker and the Saint Regis Mohawk tribe involves patent rights for the Restasis eye treatment, which generated $1.4 billion in sales last year and is responsible for about 15 percent of earnings. Under the terms, the tribe is getting $13.75 million, plus another $15 million in annual royalties, and Allergan was granted an exclusive license to market the product. Allergan was the first drug maker approached by the tribe.


By doing so, Allergan hopes to avoid inter partes reviews, a type of patent challenge that has vexed drug makers since going into effect five years ago, because these are easier and faster to file than patent lawsuits. A sovereign tribal government, however, has immunity from these types of challenges and Saint Regis Mohawk is now seeking to dismiss all of the IPR challenges concerning Restasis patents.

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  • The Constitution of the United States is not binding on sovereign nations…including the sovereign nations we drove from the lands they had occupied for generations before we invaders arrived. And they are recognized as sovereign by treaty with the US, so “proclamations…by the voters of the United States” don’t cut much mustard with them.

    • 1. Provide the Constitutional Amendment to make any of your post true.
      2. The United States Constitution is binding on everything in the United States. Just ask the Russians who were expelled under the Obama Administration if the United States Constitution has no authority to do what was done!
      3. The Indian tribes lost the wars…get over it!

  • This single question debunks Allergan’s ploy to hide its patents behind a faux “Indian tribe’s” assertion of ‘sovereign immunity:”
    A question so simple, it is hard:
    “Where is the proclamation ratified by the voters of the United States that amends the Constitution to make the health, welfare, safety and benefits of a select group of U.S./State citizens distinguishable because of their “Indian ancestry/race?”

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