J&J Stepping Up Fight Over Drug

September 7, 2010 – In The News
The Wall Street Journal

Johnson & Johnson (J&J) is seeking an undisclosed amount of damages from Merck & Co. in addition to its effort to dissolve a partnership for the anti-inflammatory drugs Remicade and Simponi.

Last year when Merck merged with Schering-Plough for $49.6 billion, which J&J claims nullified its longstanding partnership with Schering-Plough to co-market Remicade and Simponi. J&J claims Schering-Plough’s rights to distribute the drugs should now fall under J&J, per the change-of-control provision of their partnership. Merck counters that its deal with Schering-Plough was a “reverse merger” resulting in no change of control and structured to avoid J&J’s right to dissolve the partnership.

Arbitration proceedings in this dispute are set to begin in late September. Three former federal judges will hear the case and make a decision within 20 days of the hearing’s conclusion.

Scott Vernick represents Merck in this matter.