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3 May 2018Americas

ANDA cases surge 60% in Delaware: Lex Machina

The filing of patent cases related to Abbreviated New Drug Applications (ANDAs) soared at the US District Court for the District of Delaware last year, while filings dramatically fell in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

According to Lex Machina, which published its report today, May 3, Delaware and the US District Court for the District of New Jersey remained the top two venues for ANDA cases.

While filings in New Jersey remained stable in 2017 (111 cases, down from 112 in 2016), cases in Delaware hiked 60% to 241, from 151.

As previously reported by sister site WIPR, the increase in Delaware could stem from the US Supreme Court’s decision in TC Heartland v Kraft Foods, which tightened the rules on where a patent lawsuit can be filed.

Delaware’s judicial bench is changing—the retirement of Judge Sue Robinson in 2017 and the planned retirement of Judge Gregory Sleet in autumn 2018, both of whom took senior status in 2017, leaves only two non-senior members (Judges Leonard Stark and Richard Andrews) to handle all cases.

Despite these changes and the high number of ANDA cases in Delaware, the median time to trial was 731 days, which is faster than that of New Jersey: 795 days. But ANDA cases tried during 2016 and 2017 reached termination faster in New Jersey (271 days) than in Delaware (484 days).

In Virginia, which is the third most popular jurisdiction, filings fell from 17 cases to two in 2017.

Overall, district court ANDA cases filings have risen nearly 30% from 324 cases in 2016 to 417 cases in 2017. This remains slightly below the record high of 475 cases in 2015.

Eli Lilly (42 cases), Pfizer (42), Sanofi-Aventis (35), Allergan (32) and Bristol-Myers Squibb (32) were named as the top five plaintiffs in combined 2016/17 cases.

On the other side of the courtroom, the top five defendants were Teva Pharmaceuticals USA and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries (73 and 45 cases respectively), Mylan Pharmaceuticals (46), Apotex (44) and Aurobindo Pharma USA (40).

The report is available here.

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