On 30 January 2020 (case C-307/18), the European Court of Justice ("ECJ") issued a preliminary ruling that sheds more light on the circumstances in which an agreement settling a patent dispute between a pharmaceutical patent holder and a company intending to launch a competing generic product may fall foul of EU competition rules. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW - KEY TAKEAWAYS A settlement agreement between a pharmaceutical patent holder and a generic company may fall foul of EU competition law if the latter would otherwise have had the ability to enter the market as a competitor to the originator company. The existence of a patent in force does not prevent generic companies from being regarded as potential competitors to the patent holder, as the validity of a patent can be contested. A
The EU Court of Justice clarifies the conditions for a pay-for-delay agreement to be qualified as a restriction of competition by object (Generics - UK / GlaxoSmithKline / Actavis / Xellia Pharmaceuticals / Merck / Alpharma)
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