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European Commission Slaps AstraZeneca With €60M Fine For Patent Abuse

Law360 (June 15, 2005, 12:00 AM EDT) -- European antitrust authorities have fined Anglo-Swedish drug maker AstraZeneca PLC €60 million for abusing patent systems to thwart generic competition for the blockbuster ulcer drug Losec.

According to a finding by the European Commission, AstraZeneca violated competition rules by blocking or delaying market access for generic versions of Losec and preventing parallel imports of Losec from 1993 to 2000.

The Commission said AstraZeneca had made “misleading” applications to patent offices that gave the firm longer patent protection and exclusive rights.

Moreover, it found that AstraZeneca had...
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