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The Federal Trade Commission ruled that Chas. Pfizer & Co. and American Cyanamid Co. improperly obtained patents on tetracycline and ordered the two firms to license any firm to produce the drug.
A spokesman for Pfizer said the decision would be appealed to the courts. "We obtained our tetracycline patent in good faith and without any impropriety," he said. "We continue to have complete confidence in Pfizer's ultimate vindication." American Cyanamid said it would study the decision before issuing a comment.
The FTC dismissed charges that the two companies and other firms conspired to fix tetracycline prices.
Under the FTC ruling, Pfizer and Cyanamid could collect royalties of up to 2.5% on licensees' net sales of tetracycline.
The dispute involves contentions that the companies may have withheld pertinent patent information.
The Pfizer spokesman commented further:
"Previously, the Court of Appeals in Cincinnati found that the record did not support the
WASHINGTON NEWS. JAMA. 1967;202(4):45-46. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130170027004