Merck’s patent application entitled Method for Inhibiting Bone Resorption covers an increased unit dose of alendronate and other bisphosphonates for the treatment of Paget’s disease and osteoporosis.
The product covered by the patent is marketed as Fosomax® and has annual worldwide sales of over $1 billion.
The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) application entered the national stage in Israel, and on allowance, the application was published for opposition purposes. Israel’s leading generic companies, Teva and Unipharm, opposed the application, alleging lack of novelty, lack of inventive step, lack of utility and non-patentable subject matter.
Following 12 days of hearings, Israel Commissioner of Patents, Dr. Noam, concluded: