Abbott Laboratories Obtains Summary Judgment In Antitrust Case

Munger, Tolles & Olson attorneys and their co-counsel obtained summary judgment on Aug. 23 in favor of our client, Abbott Laboratories, in an antitrust case relating to competition involving Abbott's cholesterol drug TriCor. The court granted Abbott’s motion on all six pending counts and dismissed the case in its entirety on the eve of a September trial date.

France’s Ethypharm SA sued Abbott in early 2008 on the basis of a prior patent litigation settlement agreement between Abbott and Reliant Pharmaceuticals Inc., the United States distributor for Ethypharm’s competing drug Antara. Ethypharm alleged that Abbott’s patent claims were sham and that the settlement agreement restricted marketing of Antara in the U.S. in violation of the antitrust laws.

The Delaware federal court found as a matter of law that Abbott’s patent claims were not sham and that there was no evidence that it was the settlement agreement, rather than market forces, that was responsible for Antara’s poor performance in the marketplace. This resolved not just Ethypharm’s federal antitrust claims, but also Ethypharm’s related state and common law claims. The court therefore entered judgment in Abbott’s favor. 

Munger Tolles attorneys representing Abbott on the case were Stuart N. Senator and Mark R. Conrad.