Articles Posted in Antitrust & Trade Regulation

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Bayer AG and Bayer Corporation (collectively, Bayer) marketed Cipro, an antibiotic. In 1987, Bayer was issued a United States patent on the active ingredient in Cipro. Twelve years before the expiration of the patent, Barr Laboratories, Inc. filed an application to market a generic version of Cipro. Bayer responded with a patent infringement suit, and Barr counterclaimed for a declaratory judgment that the patent was invalid. In 1997, Bayer and Barr entered into a settlement agreement under which Bayer agreed to make a “reverse payment” to Barr in exchange for Barr dropping its patent challenge and consenting to stay out of the market. The settlement produced numerous state and federal antitrust suits. This case arose from nine such coordinated class action suits brought by indirect purchasers of Cipro in California. The complaint alleged that the Bayer-Barr reverse payment settlement violated the Cartwright Act, unfair competition law, an common law prohibition against monopolies. The trial court granted summary judgment for Bayer and Barr. The Court of Appeal affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that parties illegally restrain trade when they privately agree to substitute consensual monopoly in place of potential competition that would have followed a finding of invalidity or noninfringement. View "In re Cipro Cases I & II" on Justia Law