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Idenix Pharmaceuticals wins $2.54 billion infringement verdict

December 2016


The global law firm Jones Day represented Idenix Pharmaceuticals, LLC (Idenix), a subsidiary of Merck & Co (NYSE: MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, in trial before a jury in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware, which ordered Gilead Sciences, Inc. to pay $2.54 billion in damages for sales of sofosbuvir-based medicines including Sovaldi and Harvoni, as they infringe upon an Idenix patent for methods for the treatment of patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. 

The jury's verdict upholds patent protection that is essential to the development of new medical treatments. Given that it guarantees a period of return on investment, patent protection provides the research-based pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries with an incentive to invest in research and development. 

The jury awarded the damages as compensation for infringement through August 2016. In its decision, the jury also concluded that Gilead "willfully" infringed upon the patent. As a result, Chief Judge Leonard P. Stark may, at his discretion, increase the damages award up to a multiple of three times.  

The Jones Day team representing Merck was led by Stephanie E. Parker (Atlanta), and includes Calvin P. Griffith (Cleveland), Ryan B. McCrum (Cleveland), Anthony M. Insogna (San Diego), Jennifer L. Swize (Washington), John D. Kinton (San Diego), John M. Michalik (Chicago), Bradley W. Harrison (Cleveland), and Steven N. Geise (San Diego). Ms. Parker was named "Litigator of the Week" by online legal news source The Am Law Litigation Daily.

Jones Day is a global law firm with 44 offices in major centers of business and finance throughout the world. Its unique governance system fosters an unparalleled level of integration and contributes to its perennial ranking as among the best in the world in client service. Jones Day provides significant legal representation for almost half of the Fortune 500, Fortune Global 500, and FT Global 500.