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Patent Sales to Borrow Tribal Sovereignty Raise Ire in Congress

Nov. 7, 2017, 8:10 PM

Deals like the one struck between Allergan Plc and a New York Indian tribe to shield the drugmaker’s patents from validity reviews could undermine legitimate patent challenges, House lawmakers said Nov. 7.

“If successful, these private companies will be able to enforce their patents against others, while exploiting the tribes’ sovereign immunity to prevent legitimate challenges to those patents at the Patent and Trademark Office,” House Judiciary Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte (R-Va.) said at a Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet Subcommittee hearing.

Allergan’s deal could kick off a worrying trend if other private companies adopt the practice of paying ...

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