Court: Roche's Mircera infringed on Amgen's patent

The Amgen-Roche patent smackdown is finally finito. A U.S. District Court in Boston ruled that Roche's anemia drug Mircera does in fact infringe Amgen's patents. And the court entered a permanent injunction to keep Roche from selling the drug in the U.S. until mid-2014.

The companies have been fighting over those patents for five years as Roche tried to battle its way into the U.S. market for anemia meds known as erythropoietens. One judge appeared inclined to consider a compromise in the form of a licensing deal, but he ended up tabling that idea because of difficulties determining how much Roche should pay in royalties to Amgen.

The latest ruling brings all that legal maneuvering to an end. And no cash is changing hands, either. As part of the deal, Roche admitted that the five Amgen patents involved in the lawsuit are valid, and that Mircera infringed them. "We are very pleased with this agreement, a victory for Amgen that reaffirms the validity of our patents and brings to an end this long-standing legal dispute," David Scott, Amgen senior vice president and general counsel, says in a statement.

- see the Amgen release
- read the Reuters story
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