SAN FRANCISCO — The Fourth District Court of Appeal on Monday gave its stamp of approval to “pay-for-delay” settlements in Hatch-Waxman litigation, finding that a ’90s-era Cipro deal that put off availability of a generic drug didn’t run afoul of antitrust laws.

A unanimous panel in In re Cipro Cases I & II, D056361, rejected arguments by consumer plaintiffs challenging a so-called reverse settlement, in which Bayer Corp., maker of antibiotic Cipro, agreed to pay nearly $400 million to settle patent suits with Barr Laboratories and other drug makers that wanted to offer a generic version. The deals allowed Bayer to retain exclusivity of the antibiotic.

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