Sept 21 (Reuters) - Pfizer Inc (PFE.N) said a federal appeals court overturned a lower court ruling that several generic-drug makers did not infringe its patent on gabapentin, the active ingredient in Neurontin, a shingles-pain treatment.
Pfizer said the ruling will allow it to seek a judgment of infringement and, if successful, pursue full compensation for the damage it suffered from the 2004 launch of generic versions of Neurontin.
The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said the New Jersey Federal District Court should not have granted summary judgment to the generic-drug makers, and that a full trial should be held on Pfizer’s allegations of patent infringement.
Prior to the launch of the generics, Pfizer’s sales of Neurontin were more than $2 billion a year, Pfizer said. The patent is set to expire in 2017. (Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee, Neha Pathania in Bangalore)