It is absolutely fascinating to read that that Allergan and the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe have reportedly made arrangements for transfer of certain patent rights, in exchange for a substantial fee, to a sovereign, such as a Native American tribe, that may invoke sovereign immunity to defeat patent challenge litigation. The hot new dry eye drug Restasis would then be licensed back to Allergan by the tribe.
The article in the New York Times described this approach as "novel" and made me curious about other such transfers of intellectual property rights to defeat patent challenges in this way. I can't find any others.
It takes a kind of genius to think of such a method of gaming the legal system but no one seems to want to take credit, publicly at least. My favorite part of the narrative is the one that says the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe proposed the arrangement after being schooled in it by an apparently free floating law firm. Right.
1 thought on “Patent Transfer to Trigger Sovereign Immunity Defense”
First, we had the Mormons and the gangsters getting together to set up Las Vegas, Henderson, and Reno to service booming and overheated Long Beach, the economic friction-point of the Pacific War. The war over, they segued into a carefully market-differentiated courting of tourist trade.
Here the brilliant extension of the idea: what Nevada was to California, every First Nations reservation can be to any suburb with spare spondulix.
The ones with the fastest lawyers, the St. Regis Mohawks by a nose so far, seem to get to cherry-pick the suburb called Washington, D.C.
Somethin’ about them thar Mohawks: their General Brandt took away one of the biggest profits made in the Revolutionary War even though he backed the losing side. His multi-trillion-dollar inheritance perks along nicely still today.
My friend the late Margaret Mead was wrong about so much, but she was at least plausible with her notion that the greatest brains in North America must be the aboriginals, who have survived the fiercest Darwinian screenings.