20 July 2017Americas

Merck to pay Gilead $14m in attorneys’ fees

A California district court has awarded Gilead Sciences $13.8 million in attorneys’ fees in a patent dispute against Merck & Co, Merck Sharp & Dohme and Isis Pharmaceuticals.

The ruling was handed down on Monday, July 17, at the US District Court for the Northern District of California.

Gilead filed a declaratory judgment claim of non-infringement back in 2013, arguing that two patents owned by Merck were not specific enough to cover Merck’s drugs and so were invalid.

In March last year Merck was awarded $200 million for patent infringement, but in May the same year, a judge assessing the patent dispute allowed Gilead to submit new evidence of jurors allegedly being misled.

Gilead had claimed that a former Merck scientist lied under oath in the dispute, which centres on Gilead’s drugs Harvoni (ledipasvir/sofosbuvir) and Sovaldi (sofosbuvir).

In June 2016, Judge Beth Freeman agreed and overturned the award, holding that Merck was barred from asserting two patents, US numbers 7,105,499 and 8,481,712, against Gilead because of the misconduct.

Freeman made a finding of “unclean hands” against Merck, stating that the company had forfeited its right to prosecute the action against Gilead.

She said in the latest ruling on attorneys’ fees: “Based on Merck’s numerous unconscionable acts, including lying, unethical business conduct, and litigation misconduct, the doctrine of unclean hands barred Merck from asserting the patents against Gilead.”

The judge ruled that Gilead was entitled to attorneys’ fees of $13.8 million.

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More on this story

Americas
3 May 2016   A judge assessing a patent dispute between Merck and Gilead centring on hepatitis C treatments has allowed Gilead to submit new evidence of jurors allegedly being misled.
Americas
9 June 2016   A US court has overturned an earlier ruling in which Merck was awarded $200 million in damages for patent infringement after finding that the pharmaceutical company had engaged in misconduct.

More on this story

Americas
3 May 2016   A judge assessing a patent dispute between Merck and Gilead centring on hepatitis C treatments has allowed Gilead to submit new evidence of jurors allegedly being misled.
Americas
9 June 2016   A US court has overturned an earlier ruling in which Merck was awarded $200 million in damages for patent infringement after finding that the pharmaceutical company had engaged in misconduct.

More on this story

Americas
3 May 2016   A judge assessing a patent dispute between Merck and Gilead centring on hepatitis C treatments has allowed Gilead to submit new evidence of jurors allegedly being misled.
Americas
9 June 2016   A US court has overturned an earlier ruling in which Merck was awarded $200 million in damages for patent infringement after finding that the pharmaceutical company had engaged in misconduct.