For many New Jersey businesses their most valuable assets are intangible. More specifically, these assets include intellectual property rights. Intellectual property rights include patents, copyrights, trademarks and other business concepts. While some of these rights are automatic, others are given by governmental agencies. In each case, the owner of the property right has the exclusive right to profit from their intellectual property for a specific period of time. Depending on the specific intellectual property, these rights can be very valuable if sold.
One company — Olon, headquartered in Parsippany, New Jersey — that develops pharmaceutical drugs has recently sold the rights to certain patents to another company. According to reports, Salix Pharmaceuticals purchased the rights to the patent for rifaximin a drug commonly sold under the brand name Xifaxan. Salix also purchased a pending patent application owned by Olon. Each of these drugs helps to prevent and treat gastrointestinal diseases.
While Salix made $202 million in net product revenue during the first quarter of 2013, it is unknown how much they paid Olon for the recent patents.
In this case, Salix purchased the rights from Olon as part of an agreement between the two companies. Therefore, Salix has Olon’s permission to use the technology outlined in each of the patents. However, there are times when one company will use the intellectual property of another company without its permission. In these situations, one company is essentially stealing the ideas of another without providing compensation.
In these cases, legal remedies are available. It may be possible for the owner of the intellectual property to get the other company to stop using the protected concepts. It may also be possible for the owner of the intellectual property rights to get compensation for any damage the other company’s use of the intellectual property caused.
Source: Triangle Business Journal, “Salix buys IP rights connected to top moneymaker,” Jason deBruyn, May 30, 2013