Yesterday, the Supreme Court handed down its eagerly-anticipated opinion, In re Cipro Cases I & II, __ Cal.4th ___ (May 7, 2015), in which the Court was expected to reaffirm its landmark holding in Cel-Tech that conduct can be "unfair" under the UCL even if not "unlawful," and vice versa.
It didn't happen. Here's the entirety of the discussion of the UCL claim:
V. Unfair Competition Law and Common Law Monopoly Claims
The trial court entered judgment against plaintiffs on their unfair competition and common law monopoly claims using the same reasoning it applied to the Cartwright Act claim. Because that reasoning was erroneous, we reverse on these claims as well.
Slip op. at 51.
Oh, well. Maybe next time.
On the antitrust issue, the Court unanimously held that "pay-for-delay" agreements between pharmaceutical patent holders and generic-manufacturer competitors can be unlawful under the Cartwright Act:
Under federal antitrust law, these settlements are not immune from scrutiny, even if they limit competition no more than a valid patent would have. (Federal Trade Commission v. Actavis, Inc. (2013) 570 U.S. ___, ___ [186 L.Ed.2d 343, 356, 133 S.Ct. 2223, 2230] (Actavis).) We conclude the same is true under state antitrust law. Some patents are valid; some are not. Sometimes competition would infringe; sometimes it would not. Parties illegally restrain trade when they privately agree to substitute consensual monopoly in place of potential competition that would have followed a finding of invalidity or noninfringement. The Court of Appeal ruled to the contrary; we reverse.
Slip op. at 2.