Allergan, Inc. and AbbVie Corporation awarded victory in the intellectual property litigation case, Allergan, Inc v. Juno Pharmaceuticals Corp, 2023 FC 1686
December 18, 2023
On December 18, 2023, in the case Allergan, Inc. v. Juno Pharmaceuticals Corp., 2023 FC 1686, the Federal Court found Juno liable for infringing claims 16 and 19 of Canadian Patent No. 2,585,691. Juno’s allegation that those claims were invalid for being obvious and insufficiently described was rejected.
Allergan, Inc. ("Allergan") is the owner of Canadian Patent No. 2,585,691 (the "Patent"), which relates to its drug LUMIGAN RC®. LUMIGAN RC® treats glaucoma, a serious disease of the eye that can result in irreversible blindness.
Juno Pharmaceuticals ("Juno") is a pharmaceutical company located in Ontario that develops and sells generic drug products. Juno sought regulatory approval to market a generic version of LUMIGAN RC® and compared its generic drug to LUMIGAN RC® when seeking approval.
Allergan alleged that Juno infringed claims 16 and 19 of the Patent, and in turn, Juno alleged that those claims were invalid for being obvious and for being insufficiently described. Juno admitted that, but for those defences, it would infringe the asserted claims.
Federal Court Decision
The Court rejected Juno's allegation that the claimed invention was invalid for being obvious, instead finding that the prior art taught away from the invention and Allergan’s development efforts supported the Court’s finding of inventiveness. In terms of the development efforts, the Court accepted the evidence from an inventor of the Patent, testifying virtually from Taiwan, that there were many failed attempts to develop the invention, and wasted years, before the inventive formulation was developed. The Court also credited Allergan for spending significant sums of money to develop LUMIGAN RC®.
The Court similarly dismissed Juno’s allegation that the claimed invention was invalid because it was insufficiently supported by the Patent. To the contrary, the asserted Patent claims were well supported by the patent.
McCarthy Tétrault advised Allergan with a team that was led by Steven Mason and Steven Tanner (Intellectual Property Litigation) that included Laura MacDonald, Meena Alnajar and Christina Vincent (Litigation).