Ranbaxy Loses to Pfizer in the UK

Certainly breaking news!! For those coming in late on this (in true Phantom style), Ranbaxy challenged Pfizer’s 10 billion anti-cholestrol dollar drug (Lipitor) patent, arguing that it was invalid. It was succesful in Austria but lost just yesterday in the UK. A decision is awaited in the US, which incidentally is the main market and where experts expect Pfizer to win (not too surprising, since the US is more pro-patent than is the UK). The UK loss is therefore a surprising one and seems to have upset the stock market –as Ranbaxy prices had shot up in anticipation of a victory a few days back. Ranbaxy will certainly appeal, and if unsuccesful, this will prove a very big blow to Ranbaxy and its aggressive patent challenge strategies. I’m yet to read the decision–and will post futher details and commentary once this is out.

The main impetus for these kinds of law suits is the Hatch Waxman Act. an US legislation that encourages generics to challenge drug patents–if they are succesful, they get a marketing exclusivity for 180 days. I’ll do a fuller commentary once the decision is out.

Shamnad Basheer

Prof. (Dr.) Shamnad Basheer founded SpicyIP in 2005. He's also the Founder of IDIA, a project to train underprivileged students for admissions to the leading law schools. He served for two years as an expert on the IP global advisory council (GAC) of the World Economic Forum (WEF). In 2015, he received the Infosys Prize in Humanities in 2015 for his work on legal education and on democratising the discourse around intellectual property law and policy. The jury was headed by Nobel laureate, Prof. Amartya Sen. Professional History: After graduating from the NLS, Bangalore Prof. Basheer joined Anand and Anand, one of India’s leading IP firms. He went on to head their telecommunication and technology practice and was rated by the IFLR as a leading technology lawyer. He left for the University of Oxford to pursue post-graduate studies, completing the BCL, MPhil and DPhil as a Wellcome Trust scholar. His first academic appointment was at the George Washington University Law School, where he served as the Frank H Marks Visiting Associate Professor of IP Law. He then relocated to India in 2008 to take up the MHRD Chaired Professorship in IP Law at WB NUJS, a leading Indian law school. Later, he was the Honorary Research Chair of IP Law at Nirma University and also a visiting professor of law at the National Law School (NLS), Bangalore. Prof. Basheer has published widely and his articles have won awards, including those instituted by ATRIP, the Stanford Technology Law Review and CREATe. He was consulted widely by the government, industry, international organisations and civil society on a variety of IP issues. He also served on several government committees.

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