Gilead Avoids Enhancement of $2.5B Hepatitis C Drug Verdict

September 29, 2017

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.

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