FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German drugmaker Bayer has filed a suit in the United States against Indian generic drug maker Lupin, to prevent it from selling a version of Bayer's birth-control pill Natazia there.
In the lawsuit, filed on November 28, Bayer said that Lupin is preparing to bring a copy of the Natazia pill, also called Qlaira, to U.S. markets even though Bayer's U.S. patent on the pill runs through 2026.
The complaint said Bayer would be entitled to an award of damages and treble damages for any commercial sale of the alleged copied product.
Lupin was not immediately available for comment.
Natazia is approved in the U.S. as a contraceptive and for the treatment of heavy menstrual bleeding.
Birth-control is one of the most important businesses for Bayer's pharmaceuticals arm, with contraceptive sales of 1.1 billion euros in 2011.
Bayer Pharma AG v Lupin Ltd. and Lupin Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Case 1:12-cv-01592-UNA) was filed with the U.S. District Court, District of Delaware.
(Reporting by Ludwig Burger and Marilyn Gerlach; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)