What Happens After the Markman Hearing?
The Markman hearing begins on May 15. Some kind of ruling should be rendered between 60 to 180 days later.
Although the ruling is only preliminary, it will color the narrative. The judge's opinion will very likely determine which party has a better position.
Assuming the hearing ruling doesn't lead to a settlement, legal discovery and related formalities will follow, with a trial date probably set for some time in the first or second quarter 2015.
What Range of Outcomes Are Most Likely?
While anything can happen in court, let's keep it simple. The most probable range of outcomes look like this:
- Celgene wins on all counts; its patents are upheld and Revlimid is protected until 2027. Celgene cleans up.
- Celgene has the upper hand, but to avoid more litigation risk, time and an overhang on its stock, it decides make the problem go away by forfeiting a couple of years of exclusivity on the product. Solid outcome for Celgene.
- Celgene finds itself looking at an uphill battle, seeing a reasonable chance of losing the 2019 polymorph patents, and settles upon several years of exclusivity, thereby affecting the company's growth trajectory. Not-so-good result.
- Celgene loses its exclusivity to sell Revlimid in 2019; generic forms are permitted. Bad news for Celgene.
While this writer is no patent specialist, I suggest the likelihood Celgene will lose Revlimid matter composition rights is low.
So....how to handicap this? Well, investing is about probabilities, not certainties. This patent issue has that investment concept written all over it.