Johnson & Johnson wins $1.67 billion in Suit
Abbott Laboratories is liable for $1.67 billion in a patent infringement suit against Johnson & Johnson. Abbott was found to have infringed on the patent for Remicade when developing its own best-selling drug, Humira. Remicade was developed by Centocor, a unit of Johnson & Johnson. The patent infringement suit was filed against Abbott in April 2007.
Humira and Remicade are anti-TNF drugs, which block tumor necrosis factor proteins in the blood. Excess TNF can cause inflammation, which leads to many of the symptoms suffered by those with autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis.
“We are particularly gratified that the jury recognized our valuable intellectual property, finding our patent both valid and infringed,” Kim Taylor, president of Centocor Ortho Biotech. Abbott had $4.5 billion in Humira sales in 2008.
Abbott will appeal the decision. The company contends that Humira was the first fully human anti-TNF antibody medicine. Remicade is partly made from mouse DNA. J&J acknowledged at trial that it did not start working on a fully-human antibody until 1997 – two years after Abbott discovered Humira and one year after Abbott filed its patent applications for Humira.
For more information please see: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/30/business/30drug.html?partner=rss&emc=rss