Supreme Court Notebook

Court says patent correction needed

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court says the makers of a name brand drug have to correct a patent that could hinder the approval of a generic drug.

The high court on Tuesday agreed with a court decision that forced Novo Nordisk A/S to correct the patent for repaglinide, which is marketed as the diabetes drug Prandin.

Generic drug maker Caraco Pharmaceutical Laboratories, Ltd., wants to make a generic version. But Novo had its patent description revised and made broader, which blocks Caraco's generic application. A federal judge ruled that Novo's description was too broad and ordered them to change it, although that decision was overturned by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

The high court, in a unanimous opinion written by Justice Elena Kagan, agreed with the original decision.

Court rules for private lawyer hired by CA city

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court has ruled unanimously that private individuals hired temporarily by local governments have the same protection against civil rights lawsuits as public employees.

Chief Justice John Roberts said Tuesday that it makes no sense to treat people differently because one person is a full-time government employee and another has been retained for a discrete task.

The court sided with attorney Steve Filarsky, who was hired by the city of Rialto, Calif., to investigate the possible misuse of sick leave. Filarsky and several full-time Rialto employees were sued by a firefighter who was under investigation.

Lower courts threw out claims against all the city employees, but the federal appeals court in San Francisco said Filarsky's case was different because he was not employed by Rialto.

Published: Wed, Apr 18, 2012

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