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Pfizer AG

European Patent Office Supports Validity of Lipitor Patent

New York (ots/PRNewswire)

- Madrid, Spain Court of Appeal Confirms Pfizer's Patent Claims
Pfizer Inc said today that the European Patent Office (EPO) has
issued an opinion upholding, in its entirety, the company's calcium
salt patent covering Lipitor. The opinion was provided at the request
of a Spanish court that is hearing a patent infringement case filed
against Pfizer by generic manufacturer Ranbaxy.
The EPO rejected arguments by Ranbaxy that a patent covering
atorvastatin calcium, the active ingredient in Lipitor, is invalid
for "lack of novelty" and "lack of inventive step." The opinion had
been requested by the Commercial Court number 4 in Barcelona, and
will be among several expert views the court will consider before
rendering a decision in the pending litigation. Lipitor is sold in
Spain under the brand names Zarator and Cardyl.
In another case involving the atorvastatin calcium patent, the
Court of Appeal in Madrid has rejected an appeal filed by generic
manufacturer Ratiopharm. The court's decision confirms the validity
of Pfizer's patent claims under the agreement on Trade Related
Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) of the World Trade Organization.
Pfizer said it will continue to vigorously defend its intellectual
property rights against infringement.
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