Gilead Wins Latest Hepatitis C Patent Verdict Against Merck

Feb 20, 2018

A federal judge overturned a $2.54 billion verdict against Gilead, finding that a Merck patent key to its infringement lawsuit was invalid. The 2016 verdict was the largest patent case in U.S. history.

The patent, issued in 2009, is for a compound that Merck argues is the basis for all major treatments for hepatitis C, including ones made by Gilead. Merck argued it was first to synthesize the compound, while Gilead claimed it didn’t cover a new idea.

District Court Judge Leonard Stark in Wilmington, Delaware found Merck's patent is invalid as its patent covered so many potential compounds that it would take excessive experimentation to narrow down.

Read the Bloomberg report