Thursday, September 14, 2006

Same Old Story

The three-judge panel of the District Court of Hague has ruled that Ranbaxy’s proposed atorvastatin product infringed the broadest claims of Pfizer’s European Patent EP 247633 (the ‘633 patent) in the Netherlands and thereby preventing Ranbaxy from launching its generic version of Lipitor before Pfizer’s basic patent expires in November 2011. The Dutch Court also ruled Pfizer’s second patent EP 409281 (‘281 patent) covering calcium salt of atorvastatin invalid, yet again repeating the U.K. Court of Appeal judgment in June 2006 which invalidated species patent but found Ranbaxy’s proposed product infringing the broadest claims of genus patent. Same like in past cases, this ruling would have no practical commercial interest to Ranbaxy as the ‘633 patent will remain in effect beyond the expiration of the calcium salt of atorvastatin (the ‘281 patent).

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