Lipitor in Spain
The IPKat notes that the battle between Indian pharma manufacturer Ranbaxy and other generic producers on the one side, and original drug developer Pfizer on the other, over the heart and soul of Lipitor (see IPKat blog here, here and here) has spread to Spain, where the Court of First Instance in Madrid has ruled that the claims of Pfizer's patent covering atorvastatin are valid and enforceable. This time the challenge to the patent was brought by Ratiopharm Espana SA. Lipitor is sold in Spain under the brand names Zarator and Cardyl.
The IPKat thinks this is significant. There was a time when patent validity decisions outside three or four key jurisdictions were hardly ever picked up on by the world's media. But now Spain is in the spotlight. With laws on patent validity that are compliant with the European Patent Convention, and with an increasingly vibrant IP profession, Spain can legitimately say that its rulings - which are not binding on those of courts in other countries - are at least of some persuasive value.
Merpel adds, the linked news item says that Lipitor is "widely used by Americans and people throughout the world". What's the difference between Americans and people?
Click here to visit Litigation Notes and see Calvert Crary's take on the most recent US Lipitor decision.
What is cholesterol? Click here for more information .
Pulling the wool ...
Agneau de Sisteron is the subject of a recent application for Protected Geographical Indication status. According to the application,
"Sheepfarming in France has its historic birthplace in the south-east of the country. For over 6 000 years sheep have been grazing on its pastures. Rooted in this ancient tradition, the name ‘Agneau de Sisteron’ first appeared in the 1920s and 1930s, on the initiative of Sisteron's wholesale butchers, who traditionally obtained their supplies in the defined PGI area. The regional and national renown of the name has gone on growing and literally soared in the 1950s and 1960s. Sisteron is the focus of this renown but the lamb is born, reared and slaughtered across the whole of the PGI geographical area. The region can be said therefore to have acquired the historical local expertise.The IPKat is a little surprised at this remarkable incidence of spontaneous mentions of Sisteron as being the place where lamb is purchased. A Google search of 'Sisteron' yielded 319,000 hits; 'Sisteron' plus 'agneau' gives just 889 (the less attractive 'mouton' gives 636 hits). However, 'Sisteron' plus 'vacances' (holidays, in French) gives 53,300 hits; add 'vin' and you get 14,000 hits. Even 'Sisteron' plus 'sex' notches up 1,560 hits. Not much evidence of spontaneous association with sheepmeat, then ... Merpel agrees. Consumer surveys are great, but is this one being used for pulling the wool over our eyes?
A recent public awareness survey conducted by an independent consultancy, together with numerous accounts (newspaper articles, etc.) confirm that Sisteron lamb is very widely known among consumers (1 regional consumer in 8 spontaneously mentions Sisteron as the place from which lamb that has been purchased comes)".