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A federal jury has ordered health care company Abbott Laboratories topay $1.67 billion (£1bn) in damages to Johnson & Johnson as part ofa patent infringement suit.
J&J argued the Chicago drug giant had used its technology to make its rheumatoid arthritis drug Humira, which is its best-selling drug generating more than $4 billion (£2.39bn) in annual sales last year.
Humira’s main rival is Remicade, an anti-TNF class of arthritis treatments made by J&J’s Centocor.
In a patent infringement suit filed in April 2007 J&J said it made Remicade using technology developed by New York University and licensed exclusively to the company.
But now a jury has ruled in favour of J&J, which has two more years left on the patent.
Kim Taylor, president of Centocor Ortho Biotech, said: “We are pleased that the jury has ruled in our favour in the patent litigation case against Abbott.
“We are particularly gratified that the jury recognised our valuable intellectual property, finding our patent both valid and infringed.”
However, a spokesman for Abbott said the company was not satisfied with the result and would be appealing the decision.
Copyright Press Association 2009