Jessica M. Karmasek Oct. 23, 2014, 2:35pm

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - Pharmaceutical company Actavis confirmed Thursday that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has upheld a ruling finding its patent for a popular low-estrogen birth control pill to be valid.

The Federal Circuit issued its decision Wednesday.


Warner Chilcott Company LLC, an Actavis subsidiary, sued Lupin Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Amneal Pharmaceuticals LLC in 2011 and 2012, respectively, to stop them from making generic versions of Lo Loestrin Fe.


The generic drug makers filed a counterclaim, arguing that the patent -- U.S. Patent No. 7,704,984 -- was invalid because any innovation involved was “too obvious” to be patented.


As a result of the Federal Circuit’s ruling, Lupin and Amneal are prevented from launching their generic versions of the drug until after the ‘984 patent expires in February 2029.


Lo Loestrin has the lowest estrogen dose of any U.S.-approved oral contraceptive and has been extremely popular since it was introduced a few years ago, with sales of $250 million alone last year.


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