Merck (NYSE: MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada,
announced today that the U.S. District Court for the District of New
Jersey ruled against the company in a patent infringement suit against
Apotex Inc. and Apotex Corp.
"While we are pleased with the court's ruling that the patent for
NASONEX is valid, we are disappointed the court ruled that this patent
would not be infringed by the Apotex product. We believe the patent for
NASONEX in the United States is valid and would be infringed by the
Apotex product," said Bruce N. Kuhlik, executive vice president and
general counsel of Merck. "Today's decision reflects just one step in
the lengthy patent litigation process, and we plan to review all of our
options, including a likely appeal of the decision."
The patent at issue in this case is U.S. Patent No. 6,127,353 that
covers mometasone furoate monohydrate, the active ingredient in NASONEX
and which provides exclusivity for this form of mometasone until April
Apotex is seeking U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval to
sell a generic version of NASONEX.
Judge Peter G. Sheridan presided over the trial. Merck was represented
by the law firms Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP and Gibbons P.C.
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Merck Media Contact: Ron Rogers, (908) 423-6449 Investor Contact: Carol Ferguson, (908) 423-4465