ARTICLE | Politics & Policy

Supreme Court to hear MedImmune case

February 23, 2006 3:59 AM UTC

This fall, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear a case brought by MedImmune (MEDI) to determine whether the company has the right to challenge the validity of the Cabilly II patent held by Genentech (DNA) without first being in breach of its license agreement with DNA. Under a license to the patent, MEDI pays DNA royalties on sales of Synagis palivizumab for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

The issue, which has broad relevance to biotech companies, is whether a patent licensee has to refuse to pay royalties and be in material breach of its license agreement before it can sue to have a patent declared invalid, unenforceable or not infringed. ...