New Delhi: In a partial setback for Ranbaxy Laboratories in its ongoing patent row with Pfizer over cholesterol lowering drug Lipitor, a Canadian court has ruled that it infringed one of the US pharma major’s patent.
Pfizer said in a statement that the Canadian Federal Court has ruled Ranbaxy’s process for making their proposed generic atorvastatin product would infringe the multinational firm’s patent covering a crystalline form of atorvastatin -- the active ingredient of the drug.
The ruling will prevent Ranbaxy from launching its generic version of Lipitor in Canada till the patent expires in July 2016.
The court, however, turned down Pfizer’s application for a prohibition order in connection with another patent for atorvastatin.
The court asked the Canadian Health Ministry not to issue a Notice of Compliance (NoC) to launch the product until the expiry of the contested Pfizer patent (Canadian Patent Number 2,220,018) in July 2016, it said.
Separately, Ranbaxy said in a statement it would contest the ruling and remained confident of its position.
“In particular, Ranbaxy was successful in Norway on a similar issue regarding extraterritorial coverage of a patent, other than a process patent, outside of the country in which the patent is issued,” the Gurgaon-based firm said.
At the same time, the court dismissed Pfizer’s application to deny issuance of a NoC as regards to Pfizer’s atorvastatin patent CA 2,220,455, finding that Pfizer failed to meet its burden of showing that Ranbaxy’s allegation of invalidity was not justified.