Pharmaceuticals giant Pfizer has failed in a legal bid to prevent companies in South Korea producing a version of its popular cholesterol drug Lipitor.
The company launched two patent suits in the country relating to Lipitor – the world’s best-selling drug – but it was unsuccessful and the Supreme Court of Korea ruling ends almost two years of legal jostling.
The Supreme Court ruled in favour of six local pharmaceutical companies, upholding earlier findings in lower courts, saying a patent on Lipitor was not being infringed.
Pfizer bought Warner-Lambert Co, the New York company that developed Lipitor and owns the patent, for £77 million in 2000.
The representative director of Pfizer Pharmaceuticals Korea Ltd, Dong-Soo Lee, said: “We are very disappointed with the court’s decision as it disregards the value of innovative drugs and discourages the patent protection environment in Korea.”
Copyright Press Association 2010