Our lawyers successfully represented Therapharma, Inc., an affiliate company of United Laboratories, Inc., the largest pharmaceutical company in the ASEAN region, as an intervenor in a case filed by E.I. Dupont De Nemours and Co. against the Philippine Intellectual Property Office (“IPO”) to revive its Philippine Patent Application No. 35526, a 1987 Philippine patent application for “Angiotensin II Receptor Blocking Imidazole”, otherwise known as losartan. E.I. Dupont’s patent application was declared abandoned by the IPO for more than thirteen (13) years before E.I. Dupont sought its revival.
Losartan is among the medications used to treat hypertension, or high blood pressure, a disease that affects 25% of adults aged 21 years old and older in the Philippines.
Our lawyers filed an intervention in the proceedings before the Court of Appeals, arguing that, as a developer and marketer of its own generic losartan product, Therapharma would be prejudiced by the belated revival of E.I. Dupont’s abandoned patent application. The Court of Appeals granted Therapharma’s intervention on the ground that Therapharma had sufficient legal interest which warranted its intervention and affirmed the IPO’s ruling declaring the patent application abandoned.
In a ruling dated 31 August 2016, the Supreme Court affirmed the Decision of the Court of Appeals upholding the propriety of Therapharma’s intervention and affirming the ruling of the IPO denying the revival of the patent application.
In its Decision, the Supreme Court found that E.I. Dupont failed to show that the revival of its patent application which it abandoned due to inexcusable negligence would be beneficial to the public interest. The Supreme Court took note of Therapharma’s evidence that the entry of its losartan products in the Philippine market has created competition in the market that resulted in price reductions and increased sales of losartan products to more Filipino patients. Thus, to protect public interest and prevent the loss of competition which would result in higher prices for losartan products, the abandonment of E.I. Dupont De Nemours’ patent application was affirmed.
Susan D. Villanueva was the lead counsel in this case.
“E.I. Dupont De Nemours and Co. vs. Director Emma C. Francisco (in her capacity as Director General of the Intellectual Property Office), Director Epifanio M. Evasco (in his capacity as the Director of the Bureau of Patents), and Therapharma, Inc.”, G.R. No. 174379, Supreme Court, Second (2nd) Division