May 21, 2019

The city of Baltimore has filed a proposed class action antitrust case against the Johnson & Johnson unit that makes the prostate cancer drug Zytiga, alleging the company filed “sham” lawsuits against potential generic competitors over a patent it knew was invalid.

The suit, filed Thursday in the Eastern District of Virginia, seeks to represent everyone in the country who purchased Zytiga at a higher price because generic versions were kept off the market due to the infringement suits by Janssen Biotech.

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The suit notes that Janssen obtained a patent on the compound in Zytiga in 1997, launched the drug in 2011, and that the initial patent expired in 2016. But the suit alleges that in order to maintain the drug's sales of over $1 billion a year, the company sought and obtained a second patent in 2014.

The suit alleges Janssen knew that patent was invalid as obvious when it sued generic-drug makers over it. On May 14, the Federal Circuit upheld a Patent Trial and Appeal Board inter partes review decision that the patent is invalid as obvious.

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The city is represented by William H. Monroe Jr., Marc C. Greco, Kip A. Harbison and Michael A. Glasser of Glasser & Glasser PLC, Sharon K. Robertson and Donna M. Evans of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, Christopher J. Cormier, Warren T. Burns, Spencer Cox and Amanda Klevorn of Burns Charest LLP and City Solicitor Andre M. Davis and City Director of Affirmative Litigation Suzanne Sangree.

The full article can be accessed here.