| WASHINGTON, March 24
WASHINGTON, March 24 The U.S. Supreme Court on
Monday for the second time did not announce whether it would
hear an appeal by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries
Ltd in a patent fight with generic competitors
over a top-selling multiple sclerosis drug.
The case is closely watched because, if the court declines
to take it, cheaper versions of the drug Copaxone could go on
the market as soon as May.
The nine justices are considering whether to review 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. Novartis AG's Sandoz Inc and Momenta
Pharmaceuticals Inc are developing one drug and Mylan
Inc and Natco Pharma Ltd are working on the
The appeals court upheld some of nine patents involved in
the drug, or parts of them, but declared several invalid,
meaning patent protections expire this May instead of September
The Supreme Court was first scheduled to act on the case on
March 10. On Monday, the case was again absent from the list of
cases on which the court took action. The court does not give
reasons for why consideration of cases is delayed.
The case is Teva v. Sandoz, U.S. Supreme Court, 13-854.
(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Howard Goller and