On March 8, 2005, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit overturned a ruling by the Federal Trade Commission that would have imposed antitrust liability on two drug companies based on the settlement of a patent dispute. WLF had filed a brief on June 9, 2004, encouraging the court to overturn the FTC’s ruling.
The settlement agreement (involving Schering-Plough Corp., Upshur-Smith, and American Home Products) settled a dispute involving generic drug companies who wished to manufacture a drug for which Schering-Plough claimed patent rights. The FTC held that the settlement unreasonably restrained trade because the generic companies agreed to delay their entry into the market. In its brief, WLF argued that the FTC’s view of patent settlements between drug companies is commercially unrealistic and counter to federal antitrust law. WLF further argued that the FTC’s position would deter settlement of patent disputes. WLF also filed a brief when the matter was before the FTC.