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Bass files 16th IPR petition as opposition continues to build

Michael Loney

Kyle Bass has filed another IPR petition targeting a pharma company, taking aim again at the Vimovo pain reliever, while IPO has passed a resolution opposing the use of post-grant proceedings to manipulate the market

The Coalition for Affordable Drugs has filed its 16th inter partes review (IPR) petition, taking aim for a second time at the Vimovo treatment made by Pozen and sold by Horizon Pharma in the US. Vimovo is an arthritis pain reliever.

Kyle Bass, who runs hedge fund Hayman Capital, and Erich Spangenberg, owner of nXn Partners, are behind the coalition. IP Nav is also involved.

I spoke to Bass last month for our June cover story and he made very clear that he is serious about taking on pharmaceutical and biotech companies through Patent Trial and Appeal Board proceedings and that he will not give up.

You can read the full story, including an analysis of Bass’s strategy, the response from IP practitioners and trade groups, and the potential action from Congress and the Board here (only available to subscribers and trialists – you can take out a trial to the site here).

Bass underlined that he is filing merit-based IPRs with the expectation of seeing the challenge through to a final decision by the PTAB. Hayman Capital says it will not accept settlement payments to drop its challenges.

Bass praised the IPR system. "It is very pro-competitive," he told me. "It was designed to mine-clear patent trolls in the tech space, and now it is allowing firms like ours to challenge patent squatters."

Pharma and bio patent owners have not taken lightly to Bass’s provocation. BIO labeled his strategy “a new door to abuse of the patent system”, and accused him of using PTAB proceedings to short sell stock.

Last week, the PATENT Act was reported to the full Senate and included a new provision allowed the PTAB to deny petitions “in the interest of justice”. This was likely drafted with PTAB strategies such as Bass's in mind. 

And this week IPO passed a resolution opposing the use of post-grant proceedings to manipulate the market.

The resolution said: “IPO believes it is an abuse to file AIA petitions for post grant proceedings by persons who have a significant bet against, or short, of the shares of the patent owners owning the patents challenged in the petitions; now, therefore, IPO urges the United States Patent and Trademark Office to use its discretion to deny petitions filed by such persons.”

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