Gilead Sciences Inc. was told by a federal jury to pay $2.54 billion to Merck & Co. for using a patented invention as the basis for its blockbuster drugs for the potentially deadly liver disease hepatitis C — the biggest patent-infringement verdict in U.S. history.
The jury in Wilmington, Delaware, deliberated for less than two hours and rejected Gilead’s arguments that Merck’s patent is invalid. The judge in the case had already decided that Merck’s patent was infringed by Gilead’s Sovaldi and Harvoni, which account for more than half the drugmaker’s revenue.
The infringement also was found to be willful, meaning the judge could increase the damage award by as much as three times the amount set by the jury. The jury said on Thursday that Gilead owed 10 percent royalties on $25.4 billion in total sales for the two drugs.
Gilead pledged to appeal.
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Filed Under: Drug Discovery