Gilead Sciences’ White & Case counsel likened its client’s agreement with several pharmaceutical companies to not compete on HIV medication to the contracts lawyers sign when joining a firm in an attempt to dodge a class action lawsuit alleging the biotech company has violated antitrust and consumer-protection laws.

On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Edward Chen of the Northern District of California heard arguments to dismiss a consolidated class action complaint filed in August. The lawsuit, brought by 20 users of HIV therapies, claims Gilead joined forces with Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.; Japan Tobacco Inc.; and Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen R&D Ireland to snuff competition on generic versions of HIV medications and extend the life of Gilead’s patents.

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