Gilead Loses A Smallish Preliminary Round — On Invalidity Of Merck’s Sofosbuvir (In Vivo) Patents; This Case May Go To March 2016 Trial

It looks increasingly likely that there will be a patent invalidity trial — in the federal District courthouse, in San Jose (Northern District of California), come early March 2016, on these issues.

Overnight, Gilead learned that it would not escape easily — on a summary judgment motion (see this PDF file — nine pages). Meanwhile, in the Delaware federal District Court, discovery spats continue, on these same patent matters. I still think both sides would be smart to settle — but with Merck having fired a price-slashing shot across Gilead’s bow, last Friday — in these “next gen” Hep C marketing wars, there may just be too much bad blood, between the parties. Here is the operative bit, out of San Jose, overnight:

. . . .Since Gilead does not contest Merck’s motion for summary judgment, the Court GRANTS Merck’s motion [finding that Gilead infringes Merck’s two patents]. As to whether the jury should be informed of the Court’s ruling on Merck’s motion, and if so, how it should be presented, the Court finds these issues are better left for the final pretrial conference. For clarity, the Court emphasizes that this ruling is only to infringement but not ultimate liability because of Gilead’s outstanding invalidity defenses. . . .

We may learn more, on tomorrow’s earnings call — and we are sure to hear about strong currency headwinds, then, as well. Will we hear that the rumor of a split/termination of the Merck/Sanofi EU vaccines alliance venture is more than a rumor? I don’t know, but I’ll blog that bit of Bloomberg innuendo, next.

Onward, as I am put in mind of a similar week, just 11 months ago — and a blustery, odd-ball winter weather a’comin’-48-hour-period, for most of the middle of our nation. Mine included — smile. As I say, face forward — and. . . Onward!


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