Fitzpatrick Wins Partial Summary Judgment Motion on Behalf of AstraZeneca In Hatch-Waxman Litigation
On October 3, 2007, Judge Joel Pisano of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey delivered an oral opinion granting AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP’s motion for partial summary judgment against Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. in a Hatch-Waxman lawsuit concerning AstraZeneca’s antipsychotic drug Seroquel®.
The motion requested application of the doctrine of non-mutual collateral estoppel to prevent Teva from relitigating certain objective indicia of non-obviousness that were found against Teva in a separate lawsuit concerning Eli Lilly & Co.’s antipsychotic drug olanzapine. Specifically, the motion sought to prevent Teva from relitigating historical facts from the Lilly case establishing the existence of a long-felt need for a safe, atypical antipsychotic; the failure of others in the pharmaceutical industry to meet that historical need; and the unpredictability of structure-activity relationships in the field of antipsychotic drug research. In granting the motion, Judge Pisano found that all of the factors required by the Third Circuit for the application of non-mutual collateral estoppel had been met, and that its application would not result in any unfairness or equitable injury to Teva. As part of his opinion, Judge Pisano also determined that the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in KSR did not alter the judicial analysis of objective indicia of non-obviousness. The Fitzpatrick litigation team was led by Henry Renk, Bruce Haas, and Steven Kline.