German court rules in favour of Ranbaxy in Pfizer case

Written by Corporate Bureau | New Delhi, Oct 30 | Updated: Oct 31 2007, 06:49am hrs
The Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd on Tuesday said it has received a favourable ruling from the Federal Patent Court of Germany on its cholesterol-lowering generic drug Atrovastatin. The company is fighting legal battle with US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer in over 17 geographies.

The court in Germany invalidated claims made by Pfizer of the patent. Pfizer sells the drug under the brand Lipitor across the globe, while in Germany it is sold as Sortis. The drug has annual sales of about $137 million in the country, a Ranbaxy statement said.

This is an important milestone for Ranbaxy as it reinforces and validates yet again our position in relation to this patent, senior vice president global intellectual property for RLL, Jay Deshmukh, said.

Pfizer said it will appeal the decision, a process expected to take two to three years and the ruling will have no effect on a pending challenge to the basic Atorvastatin patent in Germany.

Pfizer also noted that the decision will have no impact on patent litigation involving Lipitor in other jurisdictions around the world. The decision has no immediate commercial impact because neither company has regulatory approval to sell a generic Atorvastatin product in Germany.