A U.S. judge this week found a pattern of misconduct by Merck & Co. including lying under oath and other unethical practices, reports Reuters. The finding has significant implications as it also frees Gilead Sciences Inc. from paying any damages for infringing Merck's patents with its lucrative treatments for hepatitis C, Sovaldi and Harvoni.
According to reports, a federal jury in San Jose, Calif., in March ordered Gilead to pay $200 million in damages, based on findings that Merck's patents were valid.
Both parties made statements following the ruling. Merck spokeswoman Lainie Keller said Gilead's allegations against the patents are without merit and the company would appeal. Gilead feels "vindicated" by the decision, spokeswoman Michele Rest said.