New Delhi: India’s Ranbaxy Laboratories has received a boost in its patent litigation with Pfizer over cholesterol lowering drug Lipitor (atorvastatin), with the US Patent and Trademark Office rejecting the world’s biggest pharma firm’s request for reissue of patent.
The issuance of another preliminary rejection by the USPTO would allow Ranbaxy to advance the launch of its generic version of atorvastatin in the US market by 15 months to March 2010 with a 180-day exclusive marketing rights.
When contacted a Ranbaxy spokesperson said:“The US Patent and Trademark Office decision of rejecting reissue of Pfizer’s application is self explanatory.”
Lipitor is the world’s largest selling drug and last year it clocked over $12 billion sales and the two companies are engaged in patent infringement battles in various geographies, including UK and other countries in Europe.
While Pfizer official’s could not be immediately contacted, reports in the US media quoting the company spokesperson said it would continue to pursue for reissue.
Originally, the Lipitor patent is scheduled to expire in June 2011. It was, however, invalidated in 2006 by a federal appeals court after Ranbaxy challenged the patent.