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Supreme Court Will Not Hear J&J Case Over Humira

From Associated Press (February 21, 2012)

WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal from Johnson & Johnson on Tuesday, bringing to a close a multi-year patent case over technology used in rival Abbott Laboratories' best-selling drug Humira.

Last February, a federal appeals court overturned a June 2009 judgment ordering Abbott to pay $1.67 billion for infringing patents held by J&J.

Humira is Abbott's best-selling product with sales of nearly $8 billion last year. It is approved to treat several immune system disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn's disease.

J&J has claimed that it developed the technology first used in the biotech drug. The company markets similar medications Remicade and Simponi, which are used to treat rheumatoid arthritis.

The appeals court said in February 2011 that J&J had not provided sufficient written evidence of its claim to the first biotech drug to treat arthritis and other immune disorders.

A spokesman for North Chicago-based Abbott said the company is pleased with the decision. J&J did not immediately return a request for comment.

Abbott shares dipped 5 cents to $56.31 in midday trading, while J&J stock added 17 cents to $65.16.

Posted: February 2012