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Abbott Wins Reversal of J&J’s $1.67 Billion Patent Victory

February 24, 2011
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Abbott Laboratories, maker of the arthritis drug Humira, succeeded in a bid to overturn a $1.67 billion patent-infringement verdict won by Johnson & Johnson. Bloomberg reports the 2009 verdict, which was the largest patent-related damages award in U.S. history, was reversed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington. The three-judge panel ruled the patent, co-issued to New York University and J&J’s Centocor unit, is invalid. J&J, which sells the competing arthritis medicine Remicade, had convinced a jury that Abbott infringed the patent, which J&J said covered the human antibodies used in Humira. The appeals court ruled that J&J’s patent application never described fully human antibodies and said at most the claims constitute a wish list of properties that such an antibody would have.

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