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Sandoz Infringes Hospira Sedative Patent, U.S. Judge Rules

May 1 (Bloomberg) -- The Sandoz unit of Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG infringes a U.S. patent licensed by Hospira Inc. for the sedative Precedex, a federal judge in New Jersey decided.

Novartis was sued by Hospira in 2009 in Trenton, New Jersey, over the intravenous medicine, used in surgery. U.S. District Judge Mary L. Cooper decided the case yesterday, according to electronic court records.

Cooper also ruled that Lake Forest, Illinois-based Hospira’s patent “is valid and enforceable,” and said another Hospira patent in the lawsuit is invalid because the purported invention would be obvious to an expert.

The judge also ordered that Sandoz’s planned generic version of the drug can’t be introduced until the infringed patent expires in 2013, according to court papers and U.S. Food and Drug Administration records.

Julie Masow, a spokeswoman for Basel-based Novartis, didn’t immediately return an e-mail message seeking comment on the ruling. Hospira announced the decision in a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

The case is Hospira Inc. v. Sandoz International GmbH, 09CV4591, U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey (Trenton).

To see the infringed patent, click: 4,910,214.

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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