Cert. Denied in Generic Pharma Case.

Today the U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari to the patent-validity & antitrust case, Joblove v. Barr Labs.

Joblove is the tamoxifen citrate case decided by the 2nd Circuit, which affirmed the district court’s decision that a settlement between the patentee-pharmaceutical company and a generic manufacturer did not restrain trade in violation of the antitrust laws, and dismissed claims made by a class of consumers.  The decision explored the “tension” between the Sherman Act and the Patent Act, which share the goal of “goal of stimulating competition and innovation,” but which provoke a “tension between restraints on anti-competitive behavior imposed by the Sherman Act and grants of patent monopolies under the patent laws.”

Spin it which ever way a denial of cert. can be spun, but some may see it as a “pro-business” affirmance that rejects a ‘new’ type of antitrust action against the U.S. pharmaceutical manufacturers and their patent portfolios.