Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al.

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Federal Trade Commission, Plaintiff, v. Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a corporation; Par Pharmaceutical Companies, Inc., a corporation; Paddock Laboratories, Inc., a corporation; and Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a corporation, Defendants
FTC Matter/File Number:

071 0060

Civil Action Number:

12-416

10-12729-DD

1:09-CV-00955-TWT

CV-09-00598

Enforcement Type:

Federal Injunctions

Federal Court:
Central District of California

Case Summary

On 2/2/2009, the Commission filed a complaint in federal district court challenging and agreement between Solvay Pharmaceuticals and two generic drug manufacturers in which Solvay paid for the delayed release of generic equivalents to its own testosterone-replacement drug, AndroGel, typically used in the treatment of men with low testosterone levels due to advanced age, certain cancers, and HIV/AIDS. According to the Commission’s complaint, in an effort to prevent Watson Pharmaceuticals and Par Pharmaceuticals from acquiring patents for their competing testosterone replacement drugs, Solvay paid the companies to delay entry for a nine year period, ending in 2015. 

This case was transferred from the United States District Court for the Central District of California to the Northern District of Georgia.  The district court dismissed the Commission's complaint, and the Eleventh Circuit affirmed, holding that anticompetitive effects within the scope of patent protection are per se legal under the antitrust laws.

On 10/4/2012, the FTC filed a writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court.  On June 17, 2013, the Supreme Court reversed the 11th Circuit, rejecting the scope of the patent test and permitting antitrust review of reverse payment patent settlement agreements.

There are three related administrative proceedings:

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