General Court Reviews New Set of Patent Settlement Agreements In Pharmaceutical Sector (Servier and Others)
In a series of judgments earlier this month, the General Court of the European Union had again occasion to review patent settlement agreements in the pharmaceutical sector. The General Court delivered a mixed verdict in that it held that:
i. as a general matter, patent settlement agreements should be encouraged and are pro-competitive;
ii. settlement agreements which do not merely end litigation, but also give benefits to generic companies as a form of compensation to refrain from entering the market constitute a restriction by object of competition.
iii. in limiting the relevant product market to a single active substance, the European Commission defined that market too narrowly, thus erroneously imputing a dominant position to Servier.
Please find attached a case-note discussing these judgments.