In a reversal of fortunes, a federal judge overturned a jury verdict ordering Gilead Sciences (GILD) to pay $2.54 billion to Merck (MRK) for infringing a patent in order to develop a pair of blockbuster hepatitis C treatments.
In a 52-page opinion, U.S. District Court Judge Leonard Stark ruled late Friday that a Merck patent at issue was invalid, because the inventions did not meet a requirement for disclosing how to make and use the treatment it covered without undue experimentation.
The verdict, which was largest ever in a U.S. patent case, stemmed from a long-running dispute concerning the Sovaldi and Harvoni hepatitis C pills, which revolutionized treatment, helped spark a national debate over the cost of medicines, and quickly provided Gilead with billions of dollars in sales.
My hat is off to our scribe! Failing memory lead me think this was NOT the largest settlement but it appears I was … “incorrect.” The one I remembered was only for a platy $1.7 billion (unadjusted for inflation). http://www.nj.com/business/index.ssf/2012/02/johnson_johnson_loses_patent_b.html
So now Merck will continue this ridiculous food fight by spending another hundred million $ in lawyer fees. Why not…their customers (patients) will pay for it.
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