The Canadian pharmaceutical giant Apotex has been ordered to pay more than $422 million to Sanofi-Aventis in a patent infringement case over the blood-thinning drug Plavix - the second-highest-selling pharmaceutical drug in the world.
The suit, filed back in 2002, reached trial in 2007 when U.S. District Judge Sidney Stein declared Sanofi's Plavix patent to be valid and enforceable. This week's court order established the estimated damages for the infringement and included interest since 2006 - the year Judge Stein granted the plaintiff's motion for preliminary injunction.
Sanofi and BMS had originally asked for $884 million - representing half of total sales of the generic form of the drug.
Bristol-Myers Squibb partners with Sanofi to sell Plavix in the U.S., and filed suit alongside the French drug manufacturer. Ken Dominski, a spokesman for Bristol-Myers, told Bloomberg News the companies are "pleased" with the ruling, but did not comment on how the damages would be allotted among the partnered drug companies.