New York (PRWEB) June 22, 2005
In the reexamination proceeding initiated late last year by the Public Patent Foundation ("PUBPAT"), the United States Patent and Trademark Office has rejected all of the claims of Pfizer Inc.'s patent on Lipitor, touted by the pharmaceutical giant as being "the best-selling treatment for lowering cholesterol and the best-selling pharmaceutical product of any kind in the world."
Relying on evidence provided by PUBPAT when the reexamination was requested, the Patent Office rejected all 44 claims in the pharmaceutical giant's patent. Pfizer has the opportunity to respond to the Patent Office's rejection, but third party requests for reexamination, like the one filed by PUBPAT, result in having the subject patent either modified or completely revoked roughly 70% of the time.
Although the rejected patent is one of five patents listed by Pfizer with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for atorvastatin, the generic name for the drug compound distributed under the Lipitor brand, it is the only one asserted by Pfizer in roughly two dozen patent infringement lawsuits filed last year against web sites selling generic atorvastatin to Americans. Two of the other listed patents are under review by a Delaware court and the remaining two have never been asserted by Pfizer against any competitor to Lipitor.
"The Patent Office has agreed with our conclusion that it should have never granted Pfizer the Lipitor patent," said Dan Ravicher, PUBPAT's Executive Director. "Revoking Pfizer's patent is a critical step towards providing American consumers with access to atorvastatin at a fair price, which will not only provide substantial economic benefit, but will also improve public health, as even Pfizer admits that many Americans in need of the drug are not getting it."
More information about the reexamination of Pfizer's Lipitor patent, including a copy of the Patent Office's Office Action rejecting all of its claims, can be found at http://www.pubpat.org/Protecting.htm.
The Public Patent Foundation ("PUBPAT") is a not-for-profit legal services organization working to protect the public from the harms caused by the patent system, particularly the harms caused by wrongly issued patents and unsound patent policy. PUBPAT provides the general public and those specific persons or businesses otherwise deprived of access to the system governing patents, with representation, advocacy, and education. To be kept informed of PUBPAT News, subscribe to the PUBPAT News List by sending an email with "subscribe" in the subject line to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jill Ratkevic, Bite Communications
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