Teva asks U.S. justices to stay lower court ruling in Copaxone case

WASHINGTON, April 7 Mon Apr 7, 2014 11:06am EDT

WASHINGTON, April 7 (Reuters) - Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Inc on Monday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to prevent an appeals court ruling from going into effect while the justices consider the company's appeal in a patent fight over top-selling multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone.

On March 31, the court agreed to hear Teva's appeal of a July 2013 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in favor of two teams developing cheaper generic forms of Copaxone: one involving Novartis AG's Sandoz Inc and Momenta Pharmaceuticals Inc and another involving Mylan Inc and Natco Pharma Ltd.

The appeals court had upheld some of nine patents involved in the drug, or portions thereof, but declared several invalid, meaning patent protections were set to expire in May 2014 instead of September 2015. (Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Howard Goller)

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