Benjamin Appelbaum, Attorney at Law

Drug maker settles dispute over patent allowing sale of copycat

A complicated aspect of business innovation in New Jersey and throughout the world is how to protect a product and prevent infringement on intellectual property. This is a prominent issue with drug makers. In May, a drug maker embroiled in a patent dispute over Humira reached a settlement over the issue.

The company that held what is called a "patent thicket" and a company from Germany seeking to release a copy of the drug agreed that the generic version can go to market. The German company will pay royalties to the drug maker that owns the medication. There was ongoing litigation settled with the agreement. The German company now has the freedom to join the U.S. market for the drug.

Originally, the complaint from the German company accused the manufacturer of Humira that it was using various tactics such as non-inventive patents to prevent the competitor from selling the drug. The owner of Humira had gained control of the drug after a spinoff from another company. With patent protection, copies of drugs have been stopped from going to market in the U.S. There were several forms of the drug sold in Europe in 2018.

Failure to protect a trademark, copyright or patent is a fundamental mistake made by many companies. Since there is immense value with various forms of intellectual property, it is imperative to keep track of potential copies and either stop them from going to market or reach an appropriate agreement. For companies confronted by these challenges, understanding what legal steps to take to settle the matter through litigation or negotiation is key. With help from an attorney, a company could pursue intellectual property litigation to protect its interests.

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Benjamin Appelbaum, Attorney at Law - Intellectual Property

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