There's one definite advantage in getting a jury to award a patent infringement verdict on a drug that's been approved for nearly seven years: The award can be big. Really big.
Yesterday, a jury ordered Abbott Labs
Abbott's Humira, Johnson & Johnson's Remicade, and Wyeth's and Amgen's
This isn't the only case that Johnson & Johnson is involved with regarding Remicade. It's also in arbitration with Merck
Abbott can afford to pay the ruling -- Humira brought in $4.5 billion last year -- but obviously, it doesn't want to have to fork over that much cash. A $1.7 billion piggy bank could buy a couple of development-stage drugmakers with late-stage drug candidates. We'll have to wait and see how this plays out on appeal, but so far, Johnson & Johnson seems poised to keep Abbott irritated for some time to come.
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