The Legal Pulse has devoted two past posts (here and here) to the Commission’s efforts to subpoena the CEO of generic producer Watson Pharmaceuticals (Paul Bisaro) and the FTC’s dubious and possibly unlawful motivations for issuing the subpoena. FTC apparently believes that Watson was seeking to make a deal with a branded pharmaceutical producer which in its mind falls into the realm of these “pay-for-delay” patent litigation settlements the Commission has been crusading against for over a decade.
A federal magistrate judge felt there was enough to Bisaro’s allegations of questionable FTC behavior that he ordered the Commission to respond to the CEO’s interrogatories to assist in his opposition of the subpoena.
Yesterday, during an oversight hearing before the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Courts and Competition Policy, FTC Chairman Leibowitz dedicated a significant portion of his testimony to FTC’s crusade against patent settlements. According to a report posted at the Blog of Legal Times, several members of the subcommittee raised the magistrate judge’s opinion and expressed their great concern over the Watson CEO’s allegations. In a display of rather notable bureaucratic hubris, Chairman Leibowitz quipped, “If your committee were doing an investigation, and someone refused to come and testify, I think you’d be upset over it.”
The Chairman did add that the Commission unanimously voted to release FTC officials’ responses to Mr. Bisaro’s interrogatories publicly, which are available here. Mr. Bisaro has the next move, and we’ll be watching with interest to see what he and his legal team have to say in response to the court.