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Bayer, Merck KGaA Sue Actavis Claiming Patent Violation

Bayer AG and a Merck KGaA unit sued Actavis Inc. in Delaware over a planned generic version of the birth-control drug Safyral.

“Plaintiffs are entitled to relief” from competition until patent protection ends, and Actavis was aware that its plan “constitutes an act of infringement,” lawyers for Bayer and Merck said in the complaint.

Merck & Cie, based in Altdorf, Switzerland, owns the patent, and Bayer Pharma AG is the exclusive licensee, according to the complaint. Merck & Cie is a unit of Merck KGaA, based in Darmstadt, Germany.

Bayer and Merck asked for a ruling that Actavis, based in Corona, California, infringed claims of the patent and are seeking damages and an injunction to bar Actavis from marketing the Safyral tablets in the U.S. before the patent’s 2020 expiration date.

An Actavis spokesman, Charlie Mayr, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the lawsuit.

The case is Merck & Cie v. Watson Laboratories Inc., 13-cv-00978, U.S. District Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

To see the patent in the lawsuit, click: 6,441,168.

To contact the reporter on this story: Phil Milford in Wilmington, Delaware, at pmilford@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net.

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