On March 17, 2015, the Federal Trade Commission issued a final settlement order barring patent assertion entity MPHJ Technology Investments, LLC and its law firm Farney Daniels, PC from making deceptive representations when asserting patent rights. Under the settlement, MPHJ, its law firm and MPHJ's owner are refrained from making deceptive representations when asserting patent rights, such as false or unsubstantiated representations that a patent has been licensed in substantial numbers or has been licensed at particular prices. The order also prohibits misrepresentations that a lawsuit will be initiated and about the imminence of such suit. Future violations of the order may result in a civil penalty of up to $16,000 per violation.
In its first post-Actavis action against pharmaceutical companies, the FTC sued AbbVie, Abbott Labs, Unimed Pharmaceuticals, Besins Healthcare and Teva Pharmaceuticals under Section 5(a) of the FTC Act alleging that the defendants engaged in unfair methods of competition regarding the prescription drug AndroGel. FTC v. AbbVie, Inc., No. 2:14-cv-05151 (E.D. Penn. Sept. 8, 2014) The complaint alleges that defendants AbbVie and Besins filed a sham litigation against Teva by suing it for patent infringement. Teva entered into a pay-for-delay agreement with AbbVie and Besins and as a result, Teva agreed not to introduce the generic version of AndroGel until a certain time period. The FTC alleges that AbbVie's filing of sham litigation against Teva and the agreement among the defendants violates Section 5(a) of the FTC Act.
Full text of the FTC's complaint is available here.
The latest rule from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires brand drug and generic drug companies to file with the FTC all "reverse payment" settlement agreements.
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