Sunday, December 16, 2012

WARF Sues Virtus Pharmaceuticals over V-Natal Tablets

Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) (plaintiff) logged a complaint against Virtus Pharmaceuticals (defendant) for patent infringement in the U.S. District Court of Wisconsin (case no. 3:12-cv-00914) on Wednesday, December 12, 2012. 

Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation is a university intellectual property organization that patents the discoveries of the University of Wisconsin-Madison scientific community. It administers the university’s patents and manages their intellectual property portfolio.  Virtus Pharmaceuticals is a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the development and marketing of prescription products to pharmaceutical wholesalers, chain drug stores, and other retail merchants in the U.S.

The patent US6528542 involved in this suit is assigned to WARF (as per face page). The patent entitled Calcium formate for use as a dietary supplement was issued on March 04 2003 and expires[i] by December 22, 2019. The patent describes methods of increasing dietary calcium in a patient. 

Women’s Choice Pharmaceuticals is a sub-licensee of the ‘542 patent. They market a pre-natal vitamin supplement under the brand name Nestabs. According to the complaint, defendant also markets a product that is identical in formulation to the Nestabs product. Defendant’s pre-natal supplements including V-Natal Tabs and V-Natal DHA (V-Natal products) infringe the above patent. The complaint says the product is labeled with the 14 active ingredients in the same amount as licensed in the Nestabs product. V-Natal is used to treat or prevent vitamin deficiency due to poor diet, certain illnesses, etc. V-Natal DHA is used to treat or prevent lack of vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids during pregnancy due to poor diet or certain illnesses.

WARF has individually filed a suit (3:12-cv-00897) against WH Nutritionals on July 12, 2012 recently, which is pending. 

If you are interested in knowing more about the cases filed by WARF, please contact us.

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[i] Expected expiration date.  Patent Term Estimator is a free web-based tool that automatically calculates patent terms and expiration dates for U.S. utility patents.

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