Ranbaxy wins patent case against Pfizer in Norway

Mumbai, May 29 | Updated: May 30 2007, 05:30am hrs
The Norwegian Appeals Court on Tuesday handed down a favourable decision for Ranbaxy in its case against Pfizer, involving key Norwegian patents on atorvastatin in Norway. Atorvastatin is a cholesterol-lowering drug which is marketed by Pfizer as Lipitor.

The Oslo City Court had previously sided with Ranbaxy by finding non-infringement of two of Pfizers Norwegian patents (No 177,566 and No. 180,199) covering particular intermediate compounds. It had, however, denied Ranbaxys assertion of non-infringement on Pfizers Norwegian patent (No 177,706) also covering particular intermediate compound, which was then appealed by Ranbaxy. In Tuesdays decision, the appeal court upheld the city court ruling on the 566 and the 199 patent but overturned the adverse ruling on the 706 patent.

This is a most important decision for Ranbaxy as it completely validates our position in relation to the Atorvastatin patents, said Jay Deshmukh, senior vice president, Global Intellectual Property for RLL. He further added, This decision will allow Ranbaxy to market an affordable, generic dosage form of Atorvastatin that will be of benefit to Norwegian patients.

The Norwegian Appeals Court also found Pfizer Norwegian process patent (No 309,322) relating to a process for manufacturing amorphous Atorvastatin to be invalid. This patent had been earlier revoked by the EPO. The decision will now allow Ranbaxy to market Atorvastatin tablets in Norway.

New Vistas

The Oslo City Court had previously sided with Ranbaxy by finding non-infringement of two of Pfizers Norwegian patents
The appeals court upheld the city court ruling on the 566 and the 199 patent but overturned the adverse ruling on the 706 patent
The appeals court found Pfizer Norwegian process patent
(No 309,322) invalid.