Pfizer receives initial communication from U.S. patent and trademark office regarding Lipitor basic patent

NEW YORK, January 14 -- Pfizer Inc announced today that the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office has issued its first communication in the reexamination of the '893 basic patent for Lipitor, initially rejecting the patent's claims.  This initial action, which is how the Office raises its issues with the patentee, will now be followed by the company's response, in which Pfizer will address those issues raised by the examiner.  As the company previously indicated, an initial rejection is not unusual in reexamination proceedings.

"We will respond as appropriate to the issues raised by the examiner, and believe we have compelling arguments in our favor," said Pfizer General Counsel Allen Waxman.  "We continue to believe that the basic patent was properly granted and will be upheld on reexamination.  This initial action, which was not unexpected, does not change that."

The patent remains valid and enforceable throughout the re-examination proceeding, which could take as long as a few years.

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