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
The district court used the
Noerr-Pennington doctrine to dismiss the complaint.
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.