Centocor (Johnson & Johnson) & NYU v. Abbott Labs (E.D.Tex. 2009)
In what may be the largest patent jury verdict in US history, an Eastern District of Texas jury held Abbott Labs liable for $1.67 billion in damages for infringing Centocor’s patents covering antibodies against tumor necrosis factor. Abbott’s drug Humira (adalimumab) was found to infringe. That drug is used to reduce treat arthritis, psoriasis, Crohn’s disease, and ankylosing spondylitis and had $4.5 billion in sales last year.
In an interesting split, the Jury awarded $1.168 billion in lost profits and also $504 million in a reasonable royalty. Although double recovery is not allowed, there is no reason why the damages cannot be split between the two theories of recovery.
The jury also found Abbott to be a willful infringer.
Judge Ward will now decide whether to uphold the verdict and whether the adjudged willful infringement warrants additional damages.
According to news reports, Centocor is not seeking injunctive relief.