Billions and Billions.
The CAFC has recently ruled that one of Pfizer’s patents (U.S. Pat. No. 5,273,995) on Lipitor, the blockbuster cholesterol-lowering drug, is invalid. It just so happens that this particular patent would have covered Lipitor for a full 15 months more than the basic patent for Lipitor. The loss of this additional patent protection could result in the loss of billions of dollars in Lipitior sales.
According to this article, the opinion included a highly technical conclusion that focused on the issue of how to draft a patent. Exciting! I’ll brief the opinion in the following post, so stay tuned.