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Court overturns $1.67 billion patent verdict in J&J-Abbott case
March 2011
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BOSTON—The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on Feb. 23 overturned a court's previous ruling that ordered Abbott to pay $1.67 billion to Johnson & Johnson in a patent verdict involving Humira (adalimumab), a rheumathoid arthritis drug. The case began in 2007, when J&J filed a lawsuit against Abbott alleging that Humira infringed a patent the company co-owned with New York University that involved anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF). In 2009, a federal jury ruled in favor of J&J and ordered Abbott to pay $1.17 billion in lost profits and $504 million in royalties, as well as $175 million in prejudgment interest. But the Federal Circuit Court, which hears patent cases, reversed that decision, determining that the patent claims asserted by J&J were invalid and therefore could not be infringed.

"We conclude that the jury lacked substantial evidence for its verdict that the asserted claims were supported by adequate written description," the court said in a unanimous ruling.


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