The action is brought by Norton (Waterford) Limited trading as Teva Pharmaceuticals Ireland
A dispute over patents for inventions used to treat asthma and severe chronic pulmonary disease (COPD) has come before the Commercial Court.
The action is brought by Norton (Waterford) Limited trading as Teva Pharmaceuticals Ireland against Italian registered Chiesi Farmaceutici SPA, which is the owner of the three patents at the centre of the dispute.
Teva, which is based in Waterford and is one of the largest pharma companies in Ireland, claim that three patents held by Chiesi, which relate to inventions used the treatment and maintenance of asthma and COPD, are invalid.
Teva claim the patents lack novelty, lack an obvious inventive step and fail to disclose the alleged inventions clearly enough for them to be performed by patients.
In its action, Teva, represented by Cian Ferriter SC, seek declarations seeking to have the patents, which were taken out in 2007 and 2008 and are due to expire in 2027 and 2028, revoked.
The court heard that there are almost 400,000 asthmatics in Ireland and the annual treatment cost to the state is €470 million.
The case was admitted to the fast track commercial court list by Mr Justice David Barniville on Monday.
The admission to the list was on the consent of Chiesi, represented in court by Michael Howard SC, and is a significant global player in the respiratory area with sales of €1.1 billion in 2018.
The judge adjourned the matter to a date in April.