Delaware District Court Judge Leonard Stark has granted, in part, a renewed judgment as a matter of law for defendant Gilead Sciences, upsetting the largest patent infringement award ever returned by a jury. Judge Stark held invalid for lack of enablement the asserted claims of an Idenix patent that Gilead had been found to infringe through its Hepatitis C treatment sofosbuvir. That December 2016 infringement verdict included a record-setting $2.5B damages award, an amount that Judge Stark declined to revisit in the decision just handed down, holding that the damages calculation itself, returned by a jury that had (incorrectly) found the claims of the patent-in-suit enabled, had been supported by sufficient evidence.
A Delaware judge has declined to award enhanced damages against Gilead Sciences in a case that culminated in a $2.5B verdict for plaintiff Idenix Pharmaceuticals, the largest damages award ever returned in a patent infringement suit. That verdict was handed down in December 2016, when a Delaware jury found that Gilead had willfully infringed a single patent related to a hepatitis C treatment through its drug sofosbuvir. However, in an order issued on September 22, District Judge Leonard Stark declined to enhance damages as sought by Idenix, finding that while Gilead had indeed committed “underhanded corporate piracy”, the record did not support enhancement, particularly in light of the lifesaving and innovative nature of the infringing drug.