Big Pharma Fires Defensive Missile: Complaint Filed for Attempted Extortion

Authored by Michelle Carniaux

Big pharma continues to be on the defensive against IPR attacks by financiers, this time, by filing a civil law suit against a financier/IPR petitioner. Last Friday, Allergan filed a complaint in the Central District of California for attempted extortion, unfair competition and malicious prosecution, against Ferrum Ferro Capital. According to the complaint, Ferrum Ferro filed an “objectively baseless IPR petition for the express purpose of monetizing the petition, including by attempting to extort compensation from Allergan.” Allergan, Inc. et al. v. Ferrum Ferro Capital, LLC et al., 8:15-cv-00992, No. 1 at 2 (C.D.Cal., June 19, 2015).

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Sanctioning the “Spider”: Big Pharma Fights Back Against Kyle Bass’ IPR Campaigns

Authored by Michelle Carniaux and Michael E. Sander

Kyle Bass and his hedge fund Hayman Capital have become infamous for challenging the validity of patents owned by large biopharmaceutical companies, but now, “big pharma” is fighting back. On June 9, 2015, Celgene Corp. moved a step closer to ending Bass’ IPR reign of terror. In a set of IPRs challenging two patents owned by Celgene Corp. (IPR2015-01092,01096,1102,1103), the PTAB authorized briefing on a Motion for Sanctions over whether Bass and his related companies were, as alleged, “abus[ing] the IPR process for private financial gain.” IPR2015-01102, No. 7 at 6 (P.T.A.B. Jun. 9, 2015). Celgene argued that Bass intends to use the IPR process for the purpose of affecting the stock price of publicly traded companies, which is “not the purpose for which the IPR process was designed.” Id. Celgene also alleged that “one or more of the identified RPI previously threatened to file IPRs against the challenged patents unless Celgene met their demands.” Id. Celgene requested the Board to dismiss the petitions as a sanction for abuse of process and misuse of the IPR proceedings. Id.

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Wall Street Comes to Alexandria: Two More IPR Petitions Filed by Financiers

Authored by Michelle Carniaux and Michael E. Sander

In what now seems to be part of a trend, two new petitions for inter partes review were recently filed by what appear to be hedge funds and financiers targeting patents owned by large pharmaceutical companies. Last week, Ferrum Ferro Capital, LLC (“Ferrum”) filed a petition for inter partes review against a single claim of a patent owned by Allergan Sales, LLC (“Allergan”). See IPR2015-00858, No. 1 Petition (P.T.A.B. Mar. 9, 2015). The claim at issue relates to the treatment of glaucoma by administering two known active ingredients, timolol and brimonidine, in a single composition. The claim previously survived a lengthy litigation against generic drug manufacturer, Sandoz, Inc. Eventually, the Federal Circuit agreed with the district court that Sandoz had not proven that the claim was invalid as obvious. See Allergan, Inc. v. Sandoz Inc., 11-1619 (Fed. Cir. May. 1, 2013).

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Short Activist Strategy? Coalition for Affordable Drugs Targets Drugmakers

Authored by Michelle Carniaux and Michael E. Sander

On Tuesday, the Coalition for Affordable Drugs LLC (“CFAD”) filed its first IPR petition against a patent owned by Acorda Therapeutics. See IPR2015-00720. In its petition, CFAD, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hayman Credes Master Fund, LP, challenges the validity of claims to a method of improving walking in a human multiple sclerosis patients.
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