In a setback to AbbVie (ABBV), a federal judge rebuked the drug maker for failing to cough up a ream of documents in a closely watched lawsuit that accuses the company of untoward behavior in creating a so-called patent thicket to protect its best-selling Humira medication.

At issue has been a simmering battle between AbbVie and Boehringer Ingelheim, which are locked in patent litigation, over access to internal AbbVie documents that discuss its strategy for bolstering Humira sales and fending off competition from lower-cost biosimilar alternatives.

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