Jeff Weinberger Named Am Law's 'Litigator of the Week'

Jeffrey I. Weinberger was named "Litigator of the Week" by The AmLaw Litigation Daily on April 26. Mr. Weinberger was recognized for his representation of Solvay Pharmaceuticals, owned by Abbott Laboratories, in its fight against the Federal Trade Commission's attempt to stop “pay-for-delay” deals between generic and brand-name drug companies. Attorneys Rohit Singla and Adam Lawton were also on the Munger, Tolles & Olson team for this appeal. 

In 2009, Solvay sued Watson Pharmaceuticals and Paddock Laboratories after they created their own low-cost version of Solvay’s testosterone-replacement drug AndroGel. The suit was brought under the Hatch-Waxman Act. After Paddock partnered with Par Pharmaceuticals, agreeing to share the cost of litigation in exchange for a portion of Paddock’s profits if it won, the four rivals (Paddock, Par, Watson and Solvay) struck a deal in which Par/Paddock and Watson agreed to help Solvay manufacture and market AndroGel, rather than market their own versions. The FTC challenged the pay-for-delay deal as it interpreted the pact as financially beneficial for the companies, but a loss for consumers. Solvay's co-defendants were represented by Steven Sunshine of Skadden Arps and Eric Grannon of White and Case. 

The Litigation Daily noted that Mr. Weinberger, who argued the case for defendants at the 11th Circuit in Atlanta, used the FTC’s own words against it and that the FTC’s approach “essentially ‘requires a full-blown patent litigation to be nested inside the antitrust case.’” Along with co-counsel, Mr. Weinberger pointed to a brief the FTC filed in a different case in which the agency argued that courts have no business second-guessing patent settlements by relitigating the underlying patent litigation.

The defendants convinced the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to affirm the district court ruling, dismissing the FTC’s complaint alleging that the drug companies entered into anticompetitive “pay-for-delay” agreements even though the Court was required to accept all of the allegations of the FTC's lengthy complaint as true. 

Mr. Weinberger is a partner in the Los Angeles firm of Munger Tolles. His practice consists principally of complex business litigation in trial and appellate courts.

Mr. Singla is a partner in the San Francisco office of Munger Tolles. His practice focuses on antitrust and intellectual property issues in high-technology sectors.

Mr.  Lawton is an associate in the Los Angeles office of Munger Tolles. His practice focuses on patent litigation, patent-related antitrust litigation and white collar defense.