Oct 15 The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected
Allergan Inc's appeal of a ruling that favored generic
drugmaker Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc over patents
related to the treatment of an overactive bladder.
Allergan was challenging a June decision by the U.S. Federal
Circuit Court of Appeals that its patents related to Sanctura XR
were invalid because the treatment was "obvious," meaning it was
highly likely to succeed based on information already known.
The Irvine, California-based company had accused Watson and
its partners in a lawsuit of infringing the patents when
creating a generic version of its drug, whose sales totaled
about $56.8 million in 2011.
In its appeal, Allergan said the decision, if upheld, would
set too low a bar for obviousness and could impede the
development of "pioneer" drugs because inventors might fear that
they were unpatentable.
The Supreme Court, without comment on Monday, refused to
hear the case. Justice Samuel Alito did not participate in the
court's decision to deny the appeal. The court's order provided
Overactive bladder afflicts more than 33 million, mostly
elderly, Americans, Allergan said.
The case is Allergan Inc et al v. Watson Laboratories Inc,
U.S. Supreme Court, No. 12-342.