Fera Pharmaceuticals LLC, Akorn Inc., and Perrigo Co. PLC have settled a $100 million trade secrets case three weeks before trial was set to begin in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The case primarily involved trade secrets related to the production of erythromycin. In its lawsuit filed in 2012, the plaintiff, Fera, alleged that defendant Akorn misappropriated trade secrets received from Fera under the guise of needing that information to fulfill a contract between the parties, in which Akorn was a supplier and manufacturer for Fera. The complaint further alleged that Akorn used the trade secrets to begin its own production of erythromycin and that Akorn began selling the medicine in direct competition to Fera. In its complaint, Fera sought compensatory damages in excess of $100 million, as well as punitive damages.
In 2015, Akorn filed counterclaims against Fera as well as Perrigo, alleging that those two entities had engaged in a conspiracy to keep Akorn out of the market for a separate Bacitracin ophthalmic ointment. Had the parties not settled the matter, trial on all claims would have begun on February 20, 2018.
According to a letter submitted to the district court by legal counsel for Perrigo, the parties “reached an agreement in principle for a global resolution of all claims,” though the terms of the settlement were not disclosed.