William A. Garvin, an associate in the Food and Drug Section of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney's Washington, D.C., office, recently contributed an article to the website PatentBaristas.com — an intellectual property news and commentary site featuring discussions on patent and IP issues in the biosciences. Garvin's article, titled "FTC Pushes to Ensure Health Care Reform Legislation Eliminates Reverse Payment Settlements," was posted to the site on January 13, 2010.

As noted by Garvin, "On January 13, the Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") Chairman Jon Leibowitz held a press conference with Congressional members Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Bobby Rush (D-IL), and Mary Jo Kilroy (D-OH) arguing that health care reform legislation should include a prohibition to the patent settlements referred to as 'reverse payment settlements' or 'pay-for-delay settlements'."

He went on to explain that reverse payment settlements "occur during patent litigation between an innovator company with a drug protected by a patent exclusivity and a generic company challenging the validity of that patent. Generally under these settlements the generic company will agree to drop its challenge to the patent and agree not to launch a generic drug during the patent exclusivity period in exchange for financial compensation from the innovator company."

To read Garvin's full article on the FTC's efforts to eliminate reverse payment settlements, click here.