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Arnold & Porter Wins Appeal from Dismissal of Antitrust Claims

August 22, 2018

The US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit on August 21, 2018 affirmed the 2017 dismissal of purported class actions against longtime client Novartis, a global healthcare company.

Direct and indirect purchasers of Novartis’ breakthrough leukemia drug Gleevec® filed suit claiming that three Novartis Group companies violated federal and state antitrust laws by obtaining an invalid patent covering Gleevec, and asserting that patent against a generic pharmaceutical company. On Novartis’ motion to dismiss, the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts dismissed the indirect purchaser complaints in June 2017, and entered judgment against plaintiffs in all cases in July 2017.  On August 21, 2018, a unanimous First Circuit panel affirmed, agreeing with Novartis that the complaint failed to allege plausibly either that the patent was obtained by fraud or that the patent litigation to enforce it was objectively baseless.

The firm’s multidisciplinary team was led by Antitrust partners Saul P. Morgenstern and Laura S. Shores, and comprised Antitrust counsel Mark D. Godler, Intellectual Property partner David D. Barr and associate Phillip Smithback. Complex Litigation partner James M. Catterson and associate Jesse Feitel  assisted on the appeal.

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