The Supreme Court is considering whether pay-for-delay deals violate antitrust laws, and so, on Wednesday, did a group of lawyers at an intellectual property conference in Virginia.

Pay-for-delay settlements, in which a brand-name drug manufacturer pays a generic manufacturer to postpone the release of generic drugs into the market, have been on the rise recently. In March, the Supreme Court heard arguments in Federal Trade Commission (FTC) v. Actavis Inc. In that case, the FTC alleges that these kinds of settlements are inherently anticompetitive.

At the American Bar Association’s IP conference, lawyers from Covington & Burling; McDonnell, Boehnen, Hulbert & Berghoff; and Paul Hastings discussed the advantages and disadvantages of the deals. While many regulators see them as a way to advance monopolies, drug companies say they use them to avoid costly litigation. Panelists at the ABA conference said courts should consider if these settlements would still exist without litigation in the picture. One panelist said he thought business deals that benefit both parties should still be allowed.

The Supreme Court’s decision in FTC v. Actavis is expected in June.

Read more at Thomson Reuters.


For more InsideCounsel coverage of pay-for-delay settlements, see below:

Pay-for-delay deals rise

Circuit split reignites debate over reverse payments

Supreme Court may decide whether “reverse payment” settlements violate antitrust law

Court Denies En Banc Review in “Pay for Delay” Generic Drug Case

Pay for Delay