Merck wins court ruling on Singulair patent news
20 August 2009

Merck & Co. one of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies, won a US court ruling yesterday against Teva Pharmaceuticals USA (Teva), that prevents the latter from producing the generic version of Merck's best selling asthma drug, Singulair till its patent expires in 2012.

Teva, a subsidiary of Israel's Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., is a leading producer of generic drugs drugs that are produced and distributed without patent  protection contended that the patent on the main ingredient of the asthma and allergic rhinitis medicine, Singulair (montelukast sodium) was invalid and unenforceable.

The district judge of New Jersey, Garrett E Brown upheld Merck's Singulair patent and ruled that Teva committed infringement. The Judge also ordered an injunction barring the approval of Teva's generic versions of Singulair until the August 2012 expiration of the patent.

Merck's executive vice president and general counsel, Bruce Kuhlik said, the Court appropriately ruled that the patent for Singulair in the US is valid.

''We invest heavily in the R&D that is needed to discover innovative medicines like Singulair, and we will vigorously defend our intellectual property rights," Kuhlik said.

Teva said it is currently reviewing the Court's decision to determine its next course of action.

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Merck wins court ruling on Singulair patent