Nothing says home court advantage to IP plaintiffs more than the Eastern District of Texas. Claimed patent owners have won 77 percent of trials there, compared with 59 percent nationwide, according to Bloomberg’s story. http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601202&sid=a8uzH470Q4gw
Today was no exception as Johnson & Johnson, represented by Texas trial dynamos Sayles Werbner and Dianne Elderkin of Philadelphia’s Woodcock Washburn, nailed Abbott Labs for $1.67 billion for infringing J&J’s arthritis medication, Remicade, to create its own rheumatoid arthritis drug, Humira. It is reportedly the largest patent verdict ever, eclipsing the $1.53 billion verdict against Microsoft by Alcatel/Lucent from the Southern District of California. That verdict was later overturned.
Judge T. John Ward had previously denied a motion to dismiss in the Texas matter. J&J claims that NYU, which joined it as a co-plaintiff, holds the patent and licensed it to the Centocor division of J&J.
The case is one chapter in an ongoing battle between the two medical powerhouses. Another infringment action is pending in Massachusetts.
The nation’s leading IP eminence, William Lee of WilmerHale, took today’s loss, assisted by local counsel David Beck of Houston’s Beck Redden.