The Ninth Circuit this week asked the Supreme Court to address two questions of state business tort law.  In Ixchel Pharma v. Biogen, Inc., a three-judge panel of the federal court wants high court resolution of these issues:

Does section 16600 of the California Business and Professions Code void a contract by which a business is restrained from engaging in a lawful trade or business with another business?  [Link added.]
Is a plaintiff required to plead an independently wrongful act in order to state a claim for intentional interference with a contract that can be terminated by a party at any time, or does that requirement apply only to at-will employment contracts?

The Supreme Court should let the Ninth Circuit know by mid-September — give or take — whether it will answer the questions.  Spoiler alert: it likely will say “yes.”