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What a lawsuit over fracking equipment means for drug prices

The Supreme Court heard a major patent case today. Photo: J. Scott Applewhite/AP

The Supreme Court was closely divided this morning as it debated whether the federal patent office should be able to cancel patents it has previously granted — a dispute that could put billions of dollars on the line for pharmaceutical companies.

Why it matters: The case before the court on Monday involves patents for a piece of fracking equipment. But drug makers could profit handsomely if the court puts an end to these patent cancellations.