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In a closely watched case, a U.S. patent appeals board ruled that a Native American tribe cannot claim sovereign immunity in order to avoid a certain type of patent challenge. The decision is a blow to Allergan (AGN), which last fall transferred patent rights to one of its biggest-selling medicines to the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe in hopes of thwarting generic competition.

Procedurally, Allergan sought to avoid inter partes reviews, a type of patent challenge that has vexed drug makers since going into effect six years ago, because these are easier and faster to file than patent lawsuits. At the time it transferred patent rights to its Restasis eye treatment, which last year generated more than $1.4 billion in sales, Allergan was facing a conventional patent challenge in a federal court.

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  • This is the kind of corruption that is going to ultimately destroy America. I have to use Restasis because of Sjogren’s Syndrome, I have great insurance and pay for that insurance but Allergan now has made that impossible. The lawyers and Allergan will ultimately pay for this … as I am a recently retired history teacherwho is very good at research and am now lobbying for us common folk. We are a corrupt and greedy country. I hope all the other drug companies can sue so there is competition (as their patent did run out and they r trying to thread the fine needle . I plan to research the Canadian connection (which is most likely India) to get my meds. Disgraceful! Unethical! Immoral! and I thought America(Capitalism) is about competition. I am spreading this all over FB, Instagram and the politicians are paid off to essentially screw the constituents who voted for them. I ain’t givin’ up.

  • This is great news. It’s about time we stop Tribes that are using their Tribal Immunity as a sword instead of a shield…and in this case to scam the public and other businesses for their own gain and greed.

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