Supreme Court takes up drug company dispute

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The Supreme Court is wading into a patent dispute between rival pharmaceutical companies over a multiple sclerosis treatment.

The justices agreed Monday to hear an appeal from Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., which claims the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit wrongly overturned five of its patents for the drug Copaxone.

The appeals court ruling would allow rivals Mylan Inc., Momenta Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Sandoz, Inc., to start selling generic versions of the drug later this year, after the remaining patents on the drug expire.

A federal district court had earlier ruled in Teva's favor and upheld the patents. Teva says the Federal Circuit should have deferred to factual findings made in the district court.

The justices will hear the case in the fall.

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