Vectura Wins Patent Fight against GSK
UK drugmaker Vectura has won a patent infringement lawsuit against UK pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in the US and been granted $89.7 million in damages. The lawsuit filed by the US developer of inhaled products in July 2016 alleged that sales of certain GSK Ellipta respiratory inhaler products infringed its patents.
Under a 2010 agreement, GSK had taken a license to formulation technology that was covered by a Vectura patent family. These licensed patents expired in July 2016. At this time, said Vectura, GSK had the option to license additional patent families but declined to do so, thus violating the agreement.
Vectura said its efforts to find a mutually acceptable solution were not fruitful, leading to the trial last month in the US District Court for the District of Delaware. The jury ruled that Vectura’s US patent 8303991 was valid and infringed by US sales of three GSK Ellipta products.
“Although we regret the need to take a longstanding partner to court, we are pleased with the jury’s verdict which confirms the validity of our intellectual property and the decision to progress this action with GSK,” said Vectura CEO James Ward-Lilley.
The damages awarded were for the period August 2016 through December 2018, based on a calculation of 3% of US sales for the products. The jury also found that GSK’s infringement was willful, which gives Vectura the right to seek enhanced damages. The British company has the option to appeal.
Vectura said it expects to apply for the 3% royalty on sales of the infringing products through the end of the patent term in mid-2021.