On February 25, 2009, in a major victory for Lundbeck Canada Inc., Judge Sean Harrington of the Federal Court of Canada issued the Public Version of Reasons for Orders in which the court prohibited the federal Minister of Health from authorizing Genpharm ULC, Apotex Inc. and Cobalt Pharmaceuticals Inc. to market and sell their generic versions of Lundbeck's patented drug escitalopharm until the patent expires in 2014.
Each of the three respondents had earlier served Lundbeck with a Notice of Allegation arguing that the patent on the drug was invalid on numerous grounds including anticipation, obviousness, lack of utility, overclaiming, insufficiency and ambiguity. Lundbeck succeeded in convincing the Court that none of these grounds was justified.
The three cases, which dealt with complex scientific and legal notions, were conducted in parallel over a period of two years and involved numerous hearings throughout Canada in the Federal Court and the Federal Court of Appeal. They called upon the testimony of many expert witnesses located all over the world familiar with chemistry, psychiatry, pharmacology and economics.
H. Lundbeck A/S and Lundbeck Canada were advised in this case by a team from Fasken Martineau that included Marie Lafleur, Julie Desrosiers, Christian Leblanc and Hilal El Ayoubi.