When Allergan (AGN)  transferred patent rights to a Native American tribe recently, the company shone a spotlight on a type of patent challenge that irks the pharmaceutical industry. Called inter partes reviews, these are heard before a U.S. Patent and Trademark Office appeals board, not a court, and anger drug makers because they are easier and faster to pursue than more conventional patent lawsuits.

Allergan argued these reviews amount to an unfair double jeopardy, since challengers — which are often, but not always, other drug makers — have an additional tool for trying to invalidate a patent. And about 60 percent of IPR challenges filed against pharmaceutical patents have been granted since the mechanism became available five years ago, according to Moody’s Investor Service.

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  • Since the Allergan gambit was only recently executed, one might observe that a picture of the new Madison NJ HQ campus would be more appropriate. Let’s park the ‘credit’ where it is due. (Sadly, in NJ …)
    The picture for this post frames the venerable legacy Allergan campus in Irvine. Left to it’s own devices, I rather doubt the legacy Allergan would have engaged in this type of shenanigans.

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