Yasmin case sends good signal to patentees


Robyn Merry

Bayer Schering Pharma AG and Bayer (Pty) Ltd v Pharma Dynamics and The Registrar of Patents

Yasmin* is the trade name for drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol, used mainly as an oral contraceptive.

It is also indicated in the treatment of acne. According to reports in Bloomberg, Yasmin was the number four oral contraceptive in the US during 2011. Bayer AG’s contraceptives generated $1.58 billion in sales in 2010—a sizable market by any measure.

Internationally, and particularly in the US, Yasmin has been the subject matter of class action litigation. It has also been the subject of patent litigation in South Africa. An action for the infringement of South African patent 2004/4083 was instituted against Pharma Dynamics in response to approval by the Medicines Control Council to market a competing generic product, Ruby, in South Africa.

Yasmin, oral contraceptive, patent, South Africa