Judge Finds Orange County Based Allergan’s Patents to be Invalid

By Joseph Mandour on May 3, 2012

LA Patent Lawyer Orange County – Earlier this month, Watson Pharmaceuticals received a favorable ruling in a patent infringement lawsuit filed against it by Orange County-based Allergan. The 2009 lawsuit stems from Allergan’s claims that while creating a generic version of an overactive bladder medication, Watson and its business partners infringed patents related to Allergan’s Sanctura XR drug.

A United States District Court in Delaware ruled that several of the patents involved in the Sanctura drug are invalid, a decision which will greatly benefit Watson in moving forward with its plans to release the generic version of the drug. The abbreviated new drug application for the generic is still pending approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

In 2009, Allergan and its business partners, Endo Pharmaceutical Solutions and Supernus Pharmaceuticals, filed their complaint in Delaware that Watson and its business partners, Florida, Sandoz and Paddock Laboratories, had infringed on Allergan patents involving trospium chloride extended release capsules to treat the symptoms of overactive bladders in humans.

No comment was available from Allergan on the court’s ruling of invalidity.

As health-care providers and consumers alike are trying to reduce costs on health-related products and services, many pharmaceutical companies are taking the opportunity to offer effective, yet much less expensive generic pharmaceuticals on the market. Recently, Watson has seen success from its introduction of authorized generic versions of Johnson & Johnson’s Concerta medication to treat attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, as well as Pfizer’s Lipitor, a medication for lowering cholesterol.

In an unrelated patent infringement complaint filed last month, Allergan filed claims against Watson in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, seeking to prevent Watson from releasing its generic version of bimatoprost ophthalmic solution 0.01%, which it claims infringes its patents for Lumigan, Allergan’s drug to treat eye diseases such as glaucoma and ocular hypertension.

Along with Duke University, Allergan filed yet another patent infringement lawsuit against Watson on March 30, seeking to prevent Watson from commercializing its generic version of bimatoprost ophthalmic solution 0.03%, which Allergan claims infringes its patents for Latisse, its drug used to grow longer, thicker, darker eyelashes.

Both the proprietary and generic drug industries are big business for pharmaceutical companies. In 2011, Allergan’s proprietary versions of Lumigan and Latisse had U.S. sales of about $409 million and $80 million respectively and Watson reported a surge in its fourth-quarter profits after its introduction of the generic for Lipitor.

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Posted in: Patent Infringement