Over the past decade, practitioners, policy makers and commentators have increasingly debated the issues involved when the antitrust laws intersect with patent rights. Both the antitrust and patent laws are designed to promote competition and, as a result, societal wellbeing. However, the two legal regimes attempt to accomplish this goal through alternative means – the antitrust laws seek to reduce market power and eliminate most monopolies, while the patent laws seek to bestow certain exclusive rights in order to encourage research and innovation. As such, there can be friction between the antitrust and patent laws in certain unique circumstances. Perhaps nowhere is this more prevalent than in the pharmaceutical industry. Over the last century, brand name drug companies have developed
The US Court of Appeals holds that the reverse payment settlement between a branded and generic pharma companies did not violate the antitrust laws because the exclusionary effect of the agreement did not exceed the "scope of the patent" (Schering-Plough)
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