Forbes ran an article that Credit Suisse First Boston expects Pfizer to hold onto its Lipitor patent until March 2010, which is "earlier than the pre-litigation expectation of December 2011, but later than some estimates for 2006." It doesn’t expect a decision for the Lipitor patent trial before the summer of 2005. This would reduce the patent protected period by 21 months." 

Earlier, Indian generic drugmaker Ranbaxy filed suit against Pfizer claiming that the main Lipitor patent does not cover the form of a key ingredient, atorvastatin, used in the drug. Ranbaxy alleges that Pfizer misrepresented that fact to the Patent and Trademark Office when it won an extension on the patent until 2010; the patent was originally scheduled to expire in 2006. (Ranbaxy also argues noninfringement and invalidity of the two patents at issue.) Lipitor is on track to produce $10 billion in sales this year and would be the first drug to ever break that mark.

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