Pfizer will look to re-submit corrections to its US Lipitor patent
after the US Patent and Trademark Office rebuffed an initial attempt. Reissuing
a corrected patent, as Pfizer is seeking to do, would help the company retain US
on atorvastatin until 2011.
Last year the patent term on the anti-cholesterol med was
shortened by a year, from June 2011 to March 2010, when a federal appeals court
deemed one Lipitor patent invalid, reversing a lower court's decision. Generic
manufacturer Ranbaxy had challenged the patent.
At the time, Pfizer said that the decision “turned on a technical
defect” and that it planned to apply to the PTO to correct it.
As Pfizer spokesman Bryant Haskins told The Wall Street Journal , “An initial rejection is not uncommon in
reissue application proceedings.” He went on to say that once the company receives
a letter from the PTO explaining its decision, it will review and respond
appropriately to address any issues raised.