Canopy Growth Files Patent Infringement Lawsuit Against GW Pharmaceuticals

Canadian cannabis company Canopy Growth has filed a lawsuit against UK-based GW Pharmaceuticals PLC, alleging patent infringement.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, alleges that GW Pharma's anti-seizure drug, Epidiolex is produced using Canopy's patented extraction process.

The lawsuit relates to GW Pharma's "continued, unauthorized use" of Canopy's patented processes for extracting cannabidiol or CBD from cannabis plant material.

CBD is a naturally occurring cannabinoid constituent of cannabis. It is a chemical in the marijuana plant often used for medicinal purposes, and does not have the intoxicating effects like those caused by tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, another of the active ingredients in cannabis.

According to Canopy, U.S. Patent No. 10,870,632 or the "632 Patent", was duly and legally issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office or USPTO to the company on December 22, 2020.

Canopy acquired all right, title, and interest in the '632 Patent following its acquisition in 2019 of Germany's C3 Cannabinoid Compound Company, founded by herbal medicine manufacturer Bionorica SE.

Canopy Growth said that GW Pharma manufactures the active pharmaceutical ingredient or API in Epidiolex, CBD, using the CO2-based extraction process described and claimed in the '632 Patent.

Epidiolex, an oral pharmaceutical formulation of purified cannabidiol, is already approved in the U.S. for the treatment of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) or Dravet syndrome, two rare and difficult to treat conditions of childhood-onset epilepsy. In Europe, the drug is approved under brand name EPIDYOLEX for the treatment of seizures associated with LGS or Dravet syndrome.

Canopy Growth alleged in the lawsuit that GW Pharma has been monitoring the '632 Patent family for over fourteen years and had declined a license to the parent patent in 2017.

"This case is not about restricting patient access to Epidiolex. Rather, Canopy brings this action to put a stop to GW's knowing and unauthorized use of Canopy's intellectual property," Canopy Growth said in the lawsuit.

Canopy Growth is seeking damages to compensate it for GW Pharma's infringement of the patent.

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