Amgen’s got a record of savvy patenting to protect their blockbusters, and they’ve just done it again.
A U.S. Federal District Court in Boston has ruled that Roche’s pegylated-erythropoietin infringes one of Amgen’s patents.
I’m eager to hear the backstory on this one. Amgen previously prevented Transkaryotic (now owned by Shire) from using a completely different production methodology to make a metabolite of Epogen. As described in my book, Building Biotechnology, Amgen’s strategy hinged upon filing continuation patents aimed specifically at Transkaryotic’s methods.
Litigation is expensive, but as Roche is demonstrating with their Vioxx defense strategy (that’s a whole other story), vigorously defending your case — and establishing a strong winning record — can eliminate the need to go to court!