HOUSTON – Intellectual property and patent-related antitrust litigation law firm Heim, Payne & Chorush is being honored by the American Antitrust Institute (AAI) for the firm’s groundbreaking antitrust litigation efforts against drug manufacturers that abuse patent laws to illegally restrain competition. Houston-based Heim, Payne & Chorush, whose lawyers handle technologically complex cases, is among a select group of firms receiving national recognition at the AAI’s fifth annual Antitrust Enforcement Awards. Firm partners Russ Chorush, Michael Heim and Doug Wilson will be honored alongside litigation co-counsel for Outstanding Antitrust Litigation Achievement in Private Law Practice specifically for their work in a long-running antitrust class action against Merck & Co., relating to its K-Dur potassium chloride pharmaceutical product.
On Oct. 6, 2017, a New Jersey federal judge approved a $60.2 million settlement reached by Merck and Upsher-Smith Laboratories with a class of direct purchasers who claimed that the pharmaceutical giant abused patent laws and maintained artificially high prices for K-Dur through an improper settlement with a would-be generic competitor. The settlement includes just over $20 million in attorneys’ fees for the law firms involved.
Filed in 2001, the K-Dur litigation was one of the earliest antitrust cases challenging reverse payment settlement agreements, in which brand pharmaceutical companies pay would-be competitors to drop patent challenges and to refrain from marketing lower-cost generic alternatives. It, along with other cases, led to the U.S. Supreme Court’s consideration of reverse payment settlements in the 2013 Federal Trade Commission v. Actavis Inc. case. The Heim, Payne & Chorush team’s role in the litigation focused on establishing the weakness of the K-Dur patent at the center of the pay-for-delay scheme. The case is In re K-Dur Antitrust Litigation, Civ. No. 2:01-cv-01652, MDL Docket No. 1419 in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. Heim, Payne & Chorush will be honored along with its co-counsel during a gala awards dinner on Nov. 7, following the AAI’s Annual Private Antitrust Enforcement Conference in Washington, D.C.
About Heim, Payne & Chorush:
Our attorneys have a wide variety of technical backgrounds and our expertise lets us handle all facets of intellectual property litigation. We handle every aspect of the most complicated patent disputes for some of the largest energy and technology firms, as well as individuals and smaller companies going up against the behemoths of industry. To learn more visit http://www.hpcllp.com/the-firm/.