U.S. FTC files amicus brief in reverse payment suit before 3rd Circuit

On 18 May 2011 the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) filed an amicus brief before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (“3rd Circuit”) in support of plaintiffs in a private antitrust suit that challenges settlements of patent disputes between branded and generic manufacturers of K-Dur 20.

In its amicus brief the FTC argues that the 3rd Circuit should reverse the district court’s decision and remand it for reconsideration.

According to the FTC, the district court’s approach conflicts with basic antitrust principles as well as with patent law and the policies of Hatch-Waxman Act to promote the entry of generics drugs. According to the FTC, reverse payment settlements should be considered presumptively illegal and condemned unless established that they do not harm competition (see also Newsletter 4/2009 p. 2 for an earlier amicus brief by the U.S. Department of Justice). [Juha Vesala]