Apple likes the patent ‘death squad’; Allergan pays to avoid it

  • TECH Premium
  • Thursday, 21 Sep 2017

Apple Inc. signage stands on the Apple campus after an event in Cupertino, California, U.S., on Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. Apple unveiled its most important new iPhone for years to take on growing competition from Samsung Electronics Co., Google and a host of Chinese smartphone makers. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Allergan Plc’s decision to pay a Native American tribe US$15mil (RM62.81mil) a year rather than let one of its blockbuster drugs be scrutinised by the US Patent & Trademark Office is part of a backlash against an agency review panel that has been dubbed a “death squad.” 

The drugmaker earlier this month transferred ownership of patents protecting a medicine with US$1.49bil (RM6.24bil) in sales last year to the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe of upstate New York. The tribe, which will receive royalties every year, says that as a sovereign entity it is immune from such civil patent challenges. 

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