IP Law Daily Warner-Lambert’s UK patent for Lyrica invalid, not infringed for neuropathic pain
Thursday, October 13, 2016

Warner-Lambert’s UK patent for Lyrica invalid, not infringed for neuropathic pain

By Mark Engstrom, J.D.

Actavis did not infringe a Warner-Lambert patent on the use of pregabalin, the active ingredient of Lyrica, for the treatment of pain, the Court of Appeal in London has ruled in a decision affirming the High Court of Justice, Chancery Division. Because patent claims directed to pain and neuropathic pain were invalid on the ground of insufficiency, the claims were not infringed under sections 601(c) or 60(2) of the UK Patents Act 1977, the appellate court ruled. However, the appellate court affirmed the High Court’s validation of claims directed to pains such as herpetic pain, postherpetic pain, and causalgia pain. The patent at issue, European Patent (UK) 0 934 061, will expire in July 2017 (Warner-Lambert Company, LLC v. Generics (UK) Limited, October 13, 2016, Floyd, L.J.).

Pfizer, which had acquired Warner-Lambert, issued a press release to explain its disappointment with the decision and to announce that it would seek an appeal. According to Pfizer, pending the outcome of its appeal to the Supreme Court, the company will seek to have the NHS England Pregabalin Guidance on prescribing and dispensing by brand name (Lyrica) limited to prescribing and dispensing for the types of pain in those patent claims that were upheld as valid by the appellate court.

The case is Nos A3/2015/3602, A3/2015/3415, A3/2015/3615, and A3/2016/0017.

Attorneys: Richard Miller QC, Tom Mitcheson QC, Miles Copeland, and Tim Austen (Allen & Overy LLP) for Warner-Lambert Company LLC. Michael Bloch QC, Richard Meade QC, and Kathryn Pickard (Taylor Wessing LLP) for Mylan. Richard Meade QC, Adrian Speck QC, and Isabel Jamal (Powell Gilbert LLP) for Actavis.

Companies: Warner-Lambert Company LLC; Generics UK Limited, d/b/a Mylan; Actavis Group PTC EHF; Actavis UK Limited; Caduceus Pharma Limited

MainStory: TopStory Patent

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