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Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner scored a major victory for its client Eli Lilly & Co. last week, when a federal appeals court upheld the company’s patent on Zyprexa, a leading schizophrenia drug and the company’s top seller. Lilly sued generic drug manufacturers Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd. and Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories after they filed for approvals to make generic versions of the drug, even though Zyprexa’s patent doesn’t expire until 2011. In a Dec. 26 ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed a ruling from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana that Lilly’s patent is valid. The generic manufacturers had argued that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office should not have issued the patent in 1993 on the grounds that the drug was an obvious extension of prior ideas and had been described in a previous publication. Charles Lipsey, a partner in Finnegan’s Reston, Va., office, argued the case for Lilly. Meanwhile, the company continues to face lawsuits claiming that it knew of potentially harmful side effects of the drug, such as hyperglycemia and diabetes, but failed to disclose them.
Alexia Garamfalvi can be contacted at [email protected].

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