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The bipartisan Preserve Access to Affordable Generics Act (S. 316) would prohibit brand-name drug companies from exploiting a loophole in the Hatch-Waxman Act to pay generic drug companies to delay entry of new generic medicines into the market.
The bill brought by Senator Patrick Leahy, (D-Vt.), and supported by Senators Herb Kohl (D-Wisc.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.), and Charles Schumer (D-NY).
The bill aims to end the trend of anti-competitive agreements between brand name pharmaceutical companies and generic companies to delay entry of affordable generics into the market.
Today, the law can’t stop the original patent holder from launching an “authorized generic” through a subsidiary or a third party. Sales of an authorized generic during the exclusivity period can cut the generic maker’s profits by 59 percent, according to research by Merrill Lynch analyst Greg Gilbert.
On the other hand Branded drug companies are lobbying with Bush administration to impose a new fees for the drug application filed by generic drug companies
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This is the question .. going to be decided by US SC in july 2007, while hearing Microsoft Corp. v. AT&T Corp., 05-1056 case.
In a long-running case between Microsoft and AT&T, AT&T had been able to secure favorable judgments from lower federal courts.
In this case, Microsoft has accepted the infringement of an AT&T patent in US but disputed the infringement of the patent in overseas markets.
The patent is related to technology that converts speech into computer code, so the speech can be transmitted electronically. It accused Microsoft Corp. of infringing the patent by including similar capabilities in its Windows software.
AT&T has cited the provision of US patent law, which restricts the export or infringed products from country. It says by incorporating the infringed technology in windows and selling it overseas Microsoft has violated the said provision and hence liable for the damages.
Microsoft, has pleaded that it is exporting only the “master copy” of the software and said feature has been added by computer manufacturers in the foreign markets.
AT&T protested the idea of “master version” of the software and argued that Microsoft has collected the royalty on the infringing software sold in the overseas markets, hence it is liable for the damages for the infringement in overseas markets.
US Supreme Court is expected to deliver its judgment on the issues in july 2007.