Update – Allergan’s Patent Transfer To Native Americans Lacks Merit
Robert N. Wilkey, Esq., Staff Writer for Life Science Compliance Update
In an effort to preclude competitors including generic drug companies from entering the market, many pharmaceutical companies, most notably Allergan PLC (“Allergan”) with its dry-eye medication Restasis has sought to enter into patent transfers with Native American Tribes, taking advantage of sovereign Indian Nation status to thwart off intellectual property challenges and create additional barriers to market entry. In October 2017, a U.S. Federal Court dismissed Allergan’s lawsuit seeking to enforce its Native-American patent partnership, taking issue with Allergan’s seeking to stifle competition by way of seeking refuge by way of Native American sovereign immunity. Seeking further legal relief from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”), Allergan’s latest efforts to invoke sovereign immunity as the basis to limit generic drug competition has similarly failed.