U.S. court finds Bayer Yaz contraceptive patent claims invalid

WASHINGTON, April 16 Tue Apr 16, 2013 1:04pm EDT

WASHINGTON, April 16 (Reuters) - A federal appeals court has ruled against Bayer AG, reversing a ruling by a lower court and finding that parts of a patent for the German drugmaker's Yaz oral contraceptive were invalid.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled on Tuesday that a district court in Nevada had erred in finding two claims of a patent for the contraceptive to be "not invalid." It reversed the ruling.

The generic companies involved in the ruling, Watson Pharmaceuticals, which now goes by the name Actavis Inc, Sandoz Inc - the generic drug unit of Novartis - and Lupin Ltd, had argued that the patent was invalid and had told the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that they planned to bring out generic versions of the contraceptive.

The patent expires on June 30, 2014, the ruling said.

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