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A federal jury handed a major win to Gilead Sciences in a closely watched battle with the U.S. government over the rights to groundbreaking HIV prevention pills.

The jury decided Gilead did not infringe on patents held by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and, in fact, that the patents were invalid. The agency helped fund academic research into HIV prevention that later formed the basis for the pills. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services contended that Gilead refused to reach a licensing agreement despite several attempts to strike a deal.


For its part, the company argued that it invented the pills — an older one called Truvada and a newer, upgraded version called Descovy — and that the concept of using Truvada to prevent HIV was well-known by the time the government tried to obtain its patents. Moreover, Gilead maintained that it acted in good faith during its negotiations with the government.

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