Powers Principal Brian Gunn was recently quoted in a Law360 article discussing Allergan’s patent deal and whether Congress will get involved in the case.
The article discusses a recent deal between pharmaceutical company Allergan and the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe in Akwesasne, New York. Allergan announced Sept. 8 that it had transferred ownership of six patents for dry eye medication Restasis to the tribe in a bid to end an inter partes review before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board.
According to the article, the business deal has been controversial because critics claim that the tribe’s immunity shouldn’t apply in this situation. However, others agree that the tribe’s stance is supported by federal court precedent and would likely stand up to opposition. The Supreme Court and other federal courts typically leave it to Congress, which has plenary power over tribes, to decide whether to act to curb an alleged abuse of sovereign immunity, the article states.
Brian discusses how Congress has typically been reluctant to get involved in cases dealing with tribal sovereign immunity in the past, even when dealing with high-profile cases. He also discusses his thoughts on why Congress likely will not become involved in the Allergan case.
Brian Gunn is a principal in the Powers Pyles Sutter & Verville Indian Tribal Governments group and a member of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation. Brian specializes in matters related to the federal budget and appropriations, natural resources, federal lands and federal land transfers, taxation, energy development, and Indian health.