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Eli Lilly Wins Patent Protection

Eli Lilly faced some significant hurdles in 2006. After losing $65 million in a patent dispute against competitor Ariad Pharmaceuticals Inc., the pharmaceutical giant faced another scare over the possibility of losing its patent on its blockbuster antipsychotic drug Zyprexa.

However, Lilly's luck changed Dec. 26, when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed a lower court's ruling that found the patent valid.

In the case of Eli Lilly and Co. v. Zenith Goldline Pharmaceuticals et al., generic drug companies challenged Lilly's patent on the grounds of obviousness, double patenting, inequitable conduct, anticipation and public use. However, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana ruled in favor of Lilly on all counts.

"Today's appeals court ruling not only affirms the validity of our patent, but upholds patent law that helps enable the significant investments required to develop the next generation of revolutionary medicines for the patients who need them," said Sidney Taurel, Lilly chairman and CEO, in a statement.

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