The US District Court of New Jersey has ruled in favour of Merck & Co in a patent infringement suit against Teva Pharmaceuticals over Singulair, a novel treatment for asthma and allergies.

The court upheld Merck’s patent on Singulair and ruled that Teva committed infringement by seeking FDA approval to sell a generic version of the asthma and allergic rhinitis drug.

Merck executive vice-president and general counsel Bruce Kuhlik said that the court appropriately ruled that the patent for Singulair in the US is valid.

“We invest heavily in the R&D that is needed to discover innovative medicines like Singulair, and we will vigorously defend our intellectual property rights,” Kuhlik said.

Teva has released a statement acknowledging the decision and the company is currently reviewing the court’s decision to determine its next course of action.

The patent infringement lawsuit was filed by Merck against Teva in February 2007.