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Hyderabad, Aug. 12 Pharma major Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd has gained an upper hand in the on-going patent dispute on cardio drug carvedilol with Israeli drug-maker Teva, as the latter withdrew its case on Dr Reddy’s in the US.

The Hyderabad-based pharma major would now be free to sell carvedilol, used for the treatment of heart ailments, in the US market.

The withdrawal of case by Teva came after Dr Reddy’s had sought a summary judgment on carvedilol in a New Jersey district court recently.

Long battle

It was a long battle for Dr Reddy’s. On June 2007, Teva sued Dr Reddy’s, alleging infringement of four Teva carvedilol patents. Three of the patents relate to processes for making particular polymorphic forms of carvedilol, and the last relates to specific crystalline forms of carvedilol.

“Dr Reddy’s believed that the patents did not cover its process or product, and when it could not convince Teva to drop the case, moved for summary judgment with respect to each of the four patents,” a spokesperson of the company told Business Line.

The first motion, filed October 12, 2007, was directed towards the invalidity of two claims of one of the patents. Before the court could rule on this motion, Teva gave Dr Reddy’s a covenant not to sue on one of the claims, in an effort to render the issue moot.

Teva later covenanted not to sue on the remaining claims of the same patent, and the Court dismissed Teva’s infringement claims on that patent with prejudice on June 9, 2008.

Dr Reddy’s moved for summary judgment of non-infringement of the patent, claiming a particular crystalline form of carvedilol, and after the motion was fully briefed, Teva provided another covenant not to sue. That patent was then dismissed with prejudice as well.

With respect to the two remaining patents, the judge granted summary judgment of non-infringement on one, and with trial approaching, Teva recognised that it could not prove infringement of the last patent and agreed to dismiss its claims on that patent with prejudice as well, he said.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated August 13, 2008)
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