Court Finds St. Regis Tribe Cannot Block Allergan Patent Challenges

July 24, 2018

A federal appeals court on Friday ruled a Native American tribe cannot assert sovereign immunity against inter partesreviews by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, in the latest ruling in a battle over Allergan’s dry-eye drug.

The drugmaker transferred ownership of its patents for Restasis (cyclosporine) to the St. Regis Mohawk tribe last year, which then asserted sovereign immunity to patent challenges from Mylan, Teva and Akorn.

In its July 20 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed a ruling earlier in February by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. PTAB said the transfer conferred “illusory rights” and that Allergan still owned them for all intents and purposes.

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