White & Case partner Eric Grannon of the Firm's Washington, DC office, was named a "Litigator of the Week" for the week of April 26, 2012, by the legal publication American Lawyer.
Grannon was selected for successfully arguing in the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit on behalf of our clients, Par Pharmaceuticals and Paddock Laboratories, against the appeal of the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The district court dismissed the FTC's complaint alleging a violation of US antitrust law arising from a final patent settlement agreement between branded company Solvay Pharmaceuticals and generic Watson Pharmaceuticals and a separate consent decree settlement among Solvay and generics Par Pharmaceuticals and Paddock Laboratories relating to Solvay's branded AndroGel® product. As is typical in the FTC's cases, the FTC alleged that the settlements, along with contemporaneous business transactions entered into between the parties, were "pay-for-delay" agreements, meaning that the settlements were merely vehicles for payments to the generic companies to agree to a later generic entry date.
On April 25, 2012, the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of the FTC's complaint against Par Pharmaceuticals and Paddock Laboratories. The FTC has called so-called "reverse payment" settlements the agency's top enforcement priority, and this action is only the third publicly contested case brought by the FTC. This ruling is widely viewed as another setback in the agency's efforts to challenge such agreements in court and a victory for intellectual property rights and freedom to settle.