Novo Nordisk Loses Pen Battle

| May 1, 1998

In March a U.S. District Court issued a preliminary injunction in favor of Becton Dickinson, a major manufacturer of insulin pens and needles, in its false and misleading advertising suit against its Danish competitor, Novo Nordisk. The court prohibited Novo Nordisk from claiming that its NovoPen 1.5 and Novolin Pre-filled devices can only be used with NovoFine needles.

"Diabetics are entitled to benefit from compatible components (i.e., those manufactured by Becton) when they are available," the ruling noted.

This recent ruling is only one in the legal battle that began in December 1996, when Novo Nordisk alleged that Becton was infringing on its U.S. patent and trademark on NovoPen. The next month Becton filed a counter suit against Novo. The suit alleged false and misleading advertising and unfair competition when it stated in its product literature that the Novo-manufactured pens could only be used with Novo-manufactured needles. Novo brought a suit in mid 1997 against Becton and Eli Lilly seeking to block sales of Becton's insulin pen needles and cartridges manufactured by Lilly. The case was heard along with Becton's false advertising counterclaim.

No trial date has been set in either of the patent infringement suits.

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Categories: Diabetes, Insulin, Novo Nordisk, Pens, Syringes

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