Asserted Claims from Restasis Patents Held by Native American Tribe Are Invalidated in Court, As Mohawks Launch Second Campaign with SRC Labs

October 20, 2017

Early last month, Allergan and the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe announced a controversial arrangement under which the tribe would acquire the patents for Allergan’s dry eye treatment Restasis and license them back to Allergan. While the deal was intended to shield the patents from inter partes review (IPR) under the tribe’s sovereign immunity, that protection does not protect the patents from district court validity challenges, since the filing of suit waives immunity for such proceedings. As a result, Allergan’s deal with the tribe did not prevent District Judge William C. Bryson from ruling, on October 16, that all of the asserted claims from the six Restasis patents at issue are invalid as obvious over prior art (2:15-cv-01455). That order comes shortly after the September assignment of an additional 59 Restasis patent assets, from Allergan to the Saint Regis Mohawks, was made public by the USPTO. Meanwhile, the tribe has started a new campaign with coplaintiff SRC Labs, LLC under a similar licensing arrangement; the two entities have accused Amazon (2:17-cv-00547) and Microsoft (1:17-cv-01172) of infringing several computing patents.

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