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US Federal Circuit Confirms that Tribal Immunity Cannot be Used to Shield US Patents from Review

The US Federal Circuit has affirmed that the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe cannot use tribal immunity to shield pharmaceutical patents assigned to it by drug company Allergan from inter partes review.  Allergan had assigned its rights in the patents to the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe in exchange for a license back of the assigned patents after inter parties review proceedings were initiated challenging the validity of the patents.  The US Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) had previously held that the Tribe could not rely on sovereign immunity to shield the patents from inter partes review, and the Federal Circuit affirmed.  A full copy of the decision is available here.

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