Gilead HCV Patent Case Against Merck Resolved; Federal Jury Ordered Gilead To Pay Merck

First Posted: Dec 21, 2016 03:20 AM EST

The federal jury passed the judgment in the Gilead HCV Patent Case Against Merck, according to which Gilead is supposed to pay $2.54 billion penalty to Merck. The heated legal battle between the two giants in the drug industry was over hepatitis C patents, which are related to the best sellers Sovaldi and Harvoni drugs, used for the treatment of hepatitis C.

The legal litigation is said to be a consequence of high-stake pharmaceutical acquisitions made by Merck and Gilead, which was further fueled by the already existing rivalry between scientists of the two companies. The back story of the Gilead HCV patent case is full of twists and turns, which turned into a lawsuit between two small-scale pharmaceutical companies, into a battle of industry giants, STAT reported.

The Gilead HCV patent lawsuit was originally filed by Idenix Pharmaceuticals against Pharmasset, another small-scale pharma company. When the news of the lawsuit surfaced, Merck acquired Idenix Pharmaceuticals while Gilead bought Pharmasset a few years ago. The lawsuit accused Gilead of Patent Infringement. Idenix urged the authorities to block the sales and distribution of Sovaldi, as it was similar with an already patented drug, which was developed years ago, according to Seeking Alpha.

In the latest development in the Gilead HCV patent case, the federal jury ruled in favor of Merck, which caused an immediate lowering of Gilead's stock prices. The jury decided that Gilead should pay 10 percent royalty on the $25.4 billion net profit made through the sales of both drugs.

Gilead is planning to appeal against the judgment, which was made clear in the official statement released by Gilead spokeswoman that said, "We remain steadfast in our opinion that Idenix's US patent is invalid, and since they made no contribution and assumed none of the risk in the discovery and development of [Sovaldi and other medicines based on this drug], do not believe they are entitled to any level of damages."

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