Teva Beats Patent Infringement Suit Over Generic Thyroid Drug

Written August 5, 2020

Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Inc., an American Israeli pharmaceutical company that specializes in generic drugs, beat back IBSA Institut Biochimique’s patent infringement suit concerning the thyroid drug Tirosint.  IBSA Institut Biochimique v. Teva Pharm. USA, Fed. Cir., No. 19-2400, 7/31/20.

IBSA owns the patent for Tirosint, a soft gel capsule formulation containing the active ingredient levothyroxine sodium. Teva sought to market a generic version of it, eventually filing an Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA). ISBA sued Teva for infringement but lost the suit as the lower court found parts of the patent using the term “half-liquid” were indefinite.

On appeal, IBSA argued that “half-liquid” should be construed to mean “semi-liquid, i.e., having a thick consistency between solid and liquid.” Teva argued that the term is indefinite.

The Federal Circuit affirmed the lower court ruling, finding that the term ‘half-liquid’ would not be recognizable as a term of art, as IBSA identified no scientific dictionaries containing the term.