Enlarge / Allergan’s RD and global production site in Pringy, France. (credit: JEAN-PIERRE CLATOT/AFP/Getty Images)
A federal judge ruled today that patents protecting Allergan’s $1.5 billion blockbuster dry-eye drug, Restasis, are abstract and invalid.

The international drug company’s stock dropped about five percent on the news.
The ruling by US Circuit Judge William Bryson could have wide effects on the patent landscape because the Restasis patents are at the center of a novel legal strategy that involves using Native American sovereignty rights to avoid certain types of patent reviews, called inter partes reviews, or IPRs.
Last month, Allergan gave its six Restasis patents to the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, located in northern New York.

The tribe was paid $13.5 million up front and promised $15 million annually as long as the patents were valid.
Shortly after the transfer, lawyers representing Allergan and the tribe moved to dismiss an IPR against their patents on the grounds that the patents now enjoyed “sovereign immunity.”
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