BOSTON (Legal Newsline) — The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced this week that it has filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in which it urges the court to reverse a district court’s dismissal of the complaint in Amphastar Pharmaceuticals Inc. v. Momenta Pharmaceuticals.
The case in question involves the defendants allegedly deceiving the private standard setting organization United States Pharmacopeial Convention, or USP, into adopting a pharmaceutical testing standard without revealing that they held patent rights covering the standard, which is known as the 207 Method. Afterward, the defendants sued the plaintiffs – a rival manufacturer – on grounds of patent infringement.
The district court used the Noerr-Pennington doctrine to dismiss the complaint.
The amicus brief states this was erroneously applied. The doctrine exempts private entities from liability under the antitrust laws for attempts to influence the passage or enforcement of laws. According to the brief, there is no merit to the defendants’ claim that Noerr protects their conduct.
The FTC voted 3-0 to file the amicus brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit Nov. 7.