Discussions on patents seem to be in vogue in pharmaceutical industry these days.

Recently there have been a few court cases involving high profile pharmaceutical companies and their patents on a drug. In this post, I will talk about Bayer vs Generic Health.

Generic Health started selling a generic version – Isabelle, of Bayer’s Yasmin in Australia. Bayer sued for patent infringement and recently won ~$30 million.

It is interesting to note that the battle between these two companies seem to be ongoing since 2012. Generic Health got approval from TGA and started selling Isabelle in January 2012. Bayer immediately applied for an amendment of their patent (1) and the court ruled in its favour. Then in 2013, Bayer filed a patent infringement case against Generic Health with the court establishing that Generic Health had indeed infringed upon Bayer’s patent (2). Generic Health appealed this decision in June 2014 challenging the patent on the grounds that it lacked an inventive step, which was dismissed (3).

The case in vogue which saw Bayer being awarded ~$30 million is in fact, the fourth case in this series (4). Bayer sued Generic Health for damages and elected to be paid for their damages instead of getting a share of the profit that Generic Health may have earned for the sale of their product Isabelle. Each sale of Isabelle (and also Bayer’s own generic version called Petibelle) was counted as a lost sale for the innovator product Yasmin. Including interest accrued over the sum of $25,751,336, the figure went up to ~30 million.

A big win for Bayer, for innovator companies and patent protection in general.


(1) Anon, (2017). [online] Available at: 1. http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/sinodisp/au/cases/cth/FCA/2012/1510.html?stem=0&synonyms=0&query=bayer%20generic%20yasmin [Accessed 25 Mar. 2017].
(2) Anon, (2017). [online] Available at: 1. http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/sinodisp/au/cases/cth/FCA/2013/279.html?stem=0&synonyms=0&query=bayer%20generic%20yasmin [Accessed 25 Mar. 2017].
(3) Anon, (2017). [online] Available at: 4. http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/sinodisp/au/cases/cth/FCAFC/2014/73.html?stem=0&synonyms=0&query=bayer%20generic%20yasmin [Accessed 25 Mar. 2017].
(4) Anon, (2017). [online] Available at: 1. http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/sinodisp/au/cases/cth/FCA/2017/250.html?stem=0&synonyms=0&query=bayer%20generic%20yasmin [Accessed 25 Mar. 2017].
(5) Pharmainfocus.com.au. (2017). Pharma in Focus – Australia’s only independent news service for the pharmaceutical industry, reporting on government and the bureaucracy; regulatory and legal affairs; medical activities; marketing, media & corporate affairs; employment; industry & research (including biotech). [online] Available at: http://www.pharmainfocus.com.au/ [Accessed 25 Mar. 2017].