FTC Amends HSR Rules to Make More Pharmaceutical Patent Licenses Reportable
On November 6, 2013, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), with the concurrence of the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice, finalized a rule change for premerger notifications required under the Hart Scott Rodino Act (HSR Act) that will increase the number of pharmaceutical patent licensing agreements subject to pre-consummation filing. Specifically, the rule change increases the universe of licenses that confer a sufficiently large bundle of intellectual property rights to be considered a transfer of assets subject to potential HSR Act notification. And while on its face the rule change applies only to pharmaceutical patent licenses, the FTC's statement of basis and purpose suggests that the Premerger Notification Office may apply the new standards more broadly, as appropriate, in other industries. The amendments become final 30 days after they are published in the Federal Register.