Sunday, September 25, 2005

Error in patent by Cubist Pharmaceuticals

US company Cubist Pharmaceuticals holds a patent for Cubicin, a drug for treating skin infections, in which it claims to have invested $560 million. The company filed an appeal with the Tel Aviv District Court objecting to the Israel Patent Office’s decision not to extend the deadline for submitting a patent extension request. The patent is due to expire on October 8.

Cubist alleges that because of a human error, it failed to file a request to extend its patent within the 60-day legal limit. In the first half of August 2005, a few days after becoming aware of the error, the company filed a request with the Patent Office for a postponement of the deadline for filing an extension of its patent, but the Patent Office rejected this request. The company’s appeal alleges that the expiration of its patent will cause it irreversible damage, as a result of its $560 million investment in development of the patent-protected preparation and manufacturing process.

If the appellant is not allowed to extend its patent, and generic companies begin production and marketing of a corresponding generic drug, the appellant will not be able to enjoy the results of its enormous investment.


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