Patent Evergreening: AstraZeneca to Pay Damages

The Dutch court ordered AstraZeneca (AZ) to compensate a claim for damages. The damages were incurred by the insurance company Menzis and its clients because of the high price of Seroquel (quetiapine) that AZ artificially maintained through enforcing a weak patent on a sustained-release version of a known product.

A British court ruled the patent on the new sustained release (SR) formulation invalid in 2012. However, the District Court of The Hague held the patent to be valid. Pending appeal against that judgment, Sandoz tried to enter the market & AZ obtained an injunction against Sandoz. The Dutch court declared the patent on the SR product invalid in June 2014.

Menzis argued that AZ could have known that its patent would not stand up to scrutiny but still used it to maintain monopoly in the market and to charge the high price. The Dutch court ordered AZ to pay damages, Menzis has claimed € 4.1 million, the exact amount is still to be determined by court.

#damages #evergreening #monopoly #quetiapineSR

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