Allergan Pressed By U.S. Senators About Tribe Patent Deal

Nov 07, 2017

Allergan has been asked to produce documents about its agreement to transfer patents to a Native American tribe by an administrative court by a group of U.S. senators. 

Democratic Senators Sherrod Brown, Maggie Hassan, Amy Klobuchar, Al Franken and Patty Murray sent a formal request for documents to Allergan chief executive Brent Saunders in a letter that was critical of the deal with New York’s Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe. The senators have described the transfer as a sham to subvert the intellectual property system.

The senators' letter expressed concern for similar deals and have asked Allergan to disclose the terms of its agreement by Dec. 1.

Allergan says that the tribe’s status as a sovereign entity places the patents outside the jurisdiction of the U.S. Patent Trial and Appeal Board.

During September, Allergan transferred patents for Restasis to the tribe, which agreed to license them exclusively back to the company in exchange for ongoing payments. A federal court invalidated those patents on Oct. 16, which Allergan has appealed.

Read the Reuters report