The judge overseeing Allergan’s patent trial – Judge William C. Bryson – has questioned the legitimacy of its deal with the Mohawks, asking the company if the whole deal was just a sham. Legal experts have even suggested that if the Mohawks serve as co-defendants in the federal case, it could void its sovereign immunity in the IPR case.
Judge William Bryson, who is overseeing the federal patent infringement case, noted that on Sept. 8, after the case went to trial, Allergan told him that it expects to have the Mohawk tribe join Allergan “as a co-plaintiff in due course.”
But “no motion to join the Tribe has been forthcoming during the month since,” Bryson wrote in the order in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, where Allergan is suing Teva Pharmaceutical, Mylan and other companies to block them from selling competitors to Restasis on patent-infringement grounds …
Bryson ordered Allergan and the defendants to file briefs by Oct. 13 “addressing the question whether the Tribe should be joined as a co-plaintiff in this action, or whether the assignment of the patents to the Tribe should be disregarded as a sham.”
A judgment in the federal case could be rendered by the end of the month, but it is doubtful it will be that smooth sailing.