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E.U. Targets AstraZeneca In Crackdown On Patent Abuse

Law360 (June 14, 2005, 12:00 AM EDT) -- In the first European antitrust crackdown on patent abuse, the European Commission is expected to fine AstraZeneca on Wednesday for systematically exploiting patent regulations to thwart generic competition.

The European Union’s executive body has concluded that AstraZeneca violated antitrust regulations by concealing from patent offices the date at which it first received marketing authorization for the anti-ulcer drug Losec, government sources say.

The move allowed AstraZeneca to claim an extension of the period during which the drug is protected by patent, according to the Commission. The...
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