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HEC says axed Novartis patent win ‘not remotely certworthy’ – Law360


Law360 (March 3, 2023, 6:55 PM EST) — Chinese pharmaceutical company HEC Pharm told the U.S. Supreme Court Friday that a Federal Circuit opinion invalidating Novartis Pharmaceuticals’ patent on multiple sclerosis drug Gilenya is “not remotely certworthy,” arguing that Novartis is just trying to milk its monopoly on the treatment.

HEC Pharm Co. Ltd.’s brief opposed a January petition for certiorari by Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. that had urged the high court to review a Federal Circuit panel’s decision wiping out a patent on Gilenya — which Novartis had asserted against HEC in underlying district court litigation over planned generics. According to the brief in opposition, Novartis has used the patent to “stave off generic competition for years” even though the asserted biotechnology “should never have been” granted a patent.

“The Federal Circuit’s decision is both correct and, more to the point, not remotely certworthy,” HEC argued. “Its petition for certiorari shares the same basic flaw as its earlier filings: Novartis cannot identify any legal error in the Federal Circuit’s fact-bound inquiry, much less one of substantial importance that warrants this court’s review.”


HEC is represented by Peter K. Stris, Elizabeth R. Brannen, John Stokes, Colleen R. Smith and Bridget C. Asay of Stris and Maher LLP and Paul Skiermont, Sarah E. Spires and Mieke K. Malmberg of Skiermont Derby LLP.

The suit is Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. v. HEC Pharm Co. Ltd. et al., case number 22-671, in the Supreme Court of the United States.

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