Pfizer Wins Viagra Patent Infringement Action Against Teva Pharmaceuticals

By Joseph Mandour on October 31, 2011

Patent LawyerSan Diego – Last week, Pfizer announced its victory in a patent infringement battle with Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

“We are pleased that the court recognized the validity and enforceability of our Viagra patent for the treatment of erectile dysfunction,” said Amy Schulman, executive vice president and general counsel for Pfizer. Shulman added, “Protecting the intellectual property rights of our innovative core is critical, and Friday’s court decision acknowledges Teva’s clear violation of our patent rights.”

Friday’s decision from the court, which is subject to appeal, will prevent Teva from receiving approval on a generic form of Viagra until October 2019. Pfizer initially filed its patent infringement lawsuit against Teva in April, 2010.

The lawsuit contends that Pfizer has two patents on sildenafil, which is the technical name for Viagra. The first patent, scheduled to expire in 2012, covers the composition of the drug itself, while the second patent, expiring in 2019, covers its use for erectile dysfunction. Pfizer’s lawsuit alleged that immediately upon expiration of the first patent in March, 2012, Teva intended to market its own generic version of sildenafil for the treatment of erectile dysfunction.

According to the lawsuit, Teva’s doing so would be an infringement of Pfizer’s second patent and would “substantially and irreparably” harm Pfizer.

In addition to barring Teva from selling its version of sildenafil until 2019, Pfizer is also seeking unspecified reimbursement for the alleged damages.

Founded in 1849 by German cousins Charles Pfizer and Charles Erhart, Pfizer is the world’s largest research-based pharmaceutical company, discovering, developing, manufacturing and marketing leading prescriptions such as Lipitor, Lyrica, Diflucan, Viagra, and Celebrex. In 2009, Pfizer pleaded guilty to the largest health care fraud case in U.S. history and received the largest criminal penalty ever given for the illegal marketing of four of its drugs.

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Posted in: Patent Infringement