* Patent claims were for controlled-release tramadol
* Court rejects claims of misconduct by Purdue
* Par Pharmaceutical shares up nearly 3 percent
WASHINGTON, June 3 Purdue Pharma Products'
patent claims for controlled-release tramadol, a pain
medication, are invalid, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the
Federal Circuit affirmed in a ruling issued on Thursday.
Generic drugmaker Par Pharmaceutical Inc PRX.N had argued
that the patent claims should be deemed invalid because they
were an obvious, or easy to devise, improvement of existing
Par's stock was up 2.9 percent to $28.49 in noon trading on
the New York Stock Exchange.
Purdue, Napp and Ortho-McNeil filed suit against Par
Pharmaceuticals in 2007 after Par said it planned to bring out
a generic version of 100- and 200-mg tramadol. Par said in
November that it received U.S. regulatory approval to market
the copycat version.
Although Purdue owned the patent, tramadol, sold as Ultram,
is made by Johnson & Johnson's (JNJ.N) Ortho-McNeil.
The appeals court also affirmed the Delaware District Court
ruling that Purdue had not engaged in inequitable conduct,
essentially an attempt to mislead the patent office.
The case was appealed from the U.S. District Court for the
District of Delaware.
The case is Purdue Pharma Products LP and Napp
Pharmaceutical Group Ltd, and Ortho-McNeil Inc v.
Par Pharmaceutical Inc, 09-1553 and 09-1592.
(Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)