The Supreme Court of Canada has announced that it will hear Teva Canada Ltd.'s challenge to Pfizer's patent for sildenafil citrate used for the treatment of erectile dysfunction, sold under the trade name Viagra.
In Teva Canada Limited v. Pfizer Canada Inc. (SCC Docket #33951), the Supreme Court granted Teva leave to appeal the Federal Court of Appeal's decision upholding a prohibition order against Teva's generic version of sildenafil citrate. Teva had challenged the patent on the grounds of insufficient disclosure; the Federal Court had held that there was sufficient disclosure, and that there was no requirement for a patent to demonstrate utility in its disclosure, so long as the trier of fact found utility to be proven upon a legal challenge.
A key issue to be addressed by the Supreme Court of Canada is the disclosure requirement, and in particular, the test for sufficiency of the patent description as outlined in Consolboard Inc. v. MacMillan Bloedel (Saskatchewan Ltd.). This is the first patent case to be heard by the Supreme Court of Canada since its decision in Sanofi-Synthelabo Canada Inc. v. Apotex Inc.