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17 August 2015Americas

FFC claims Allergan’s complaint violates anti-SLAPP laws

US hedge fund Ferrum Ferro Capital (FFC) has asked a California court to reject Allergan’s complaint about malicious prosecution because it allegedly violates a state law designed to stop parties from intentionally burdening another party with a legal complaint.

On Monday, August 10, FFC asked the US District Court for the Central District of California to throw out Allergan’s June 2015 lawsuit. In the lawsuit, filed at the same court, Allergan had accused the hedge fund of filing an inter partes review (IPRs) in attempt to “extort” money.

In March, FFC asked the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to institute an IPR challenging Allergan’s US patent number 7,030,149 on the grounds that it is obvious.

So far, the PTAB has not made a decision on whether it will review the validity of Allergan’s patent.

The ‘149 patent, called “Combination of brimonidine timolol for topical ophthalmic use”, covers the ingredients of Allergan’s Combigan (brimonidine and timolol) drug, used to treat patients suffering from glaucoma.

In the June lawsuit, Allergan claimed that FFC’s petition for an IPR was “objectively baseless” and merely an attempt to “extort compensation”.

The pharmaceutical company then accused FFC of malicious prosecution and unfair business practices.

But in the latest development, FFC has hit back stating that Allergan’s complaint violates California’s anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) legislation.

California’s legislation restricts parties from trying to silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defence.

According to the latest court document: “Each of the claims set forth in Allergan’s SLAPP complaint relies on the premise that FFC brought a challenge to Allergan’s patent.

“Because Allergan brought this SLAPP action as retaliation for FFC engaging in the fundamental First Amendment right to petition the government, California’s anti-SLAPP law applies.”

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Americas
29 September 2015   Pharmaceutical company Allergan has survived an attempt by hedge fund Ferrum Ferro Capital to invalidate a patent covering its Combigan drug after the Patent Trial and Appeal Board opted not to institute an inter partes review.

More on this story

Americas
29 September 2015   Pharmaceutical company Allergan has survived an attempt by hedge fund Ferrum Ferro Capital to invalidate a patent covering its Combigan drug after the Patent Trial and Appeal Board opted not to institute an inter partes review.

More on this story

Americas
29 September 2015   Pharmaceutical company Allergan has survived an attempt by hedge fund Ferrum Ferro Capital to invalidate a patent covering its Combigan drug after the Patent Trial and Appeal Board opted not to institute an inter partes review.