Pfizer is celebrating another victory in its efforts to defend its patents on the blockbuster cholesterol-lowerer Lipitor, this time in Denmark.

The company noted that the Eastern Division of the High Court in Copenhagen, has ruled in its favour with respect to challenges made by Indian drugmaker Ranbaxy to two of its patents covering Lipitor (atorvastatin), namely the basic and enantiomer patents.

The court ruled that the atorvastatin enantiomer patent, which expires in July 2010 is valid and also decreed that the basic patent, which expires in November 2011, would be infringed by Ranbaxy’s generic atorvastatin product. The decision, which is subject to appeal, prevents Ranbaxy from launching its copycat version before then.

Pfizer’s Denmark manager, Karin Verland, said the decision represents “an important outcome” for the firm “and other medical innovators who invest in high-risk research”.

The judge’s decision is unlikely to upset Ranbaxy too much seeing as it comes a couple of months after the Gurgaon-based firm settled its dispute with Pfizer over Lipitor patents in the USA and most other markets. The agreement set a date of November 30, 2011 for the Indian drugmaker to start selling generic atorvastatin and a spokesperson told India’s Business Standard that “our settlements cover more than 90%-95% of the Lipitor market and the existing litigations are insignificant".

The territories not covered by that settlement are Finland, Spain, Portugal and Romania, as well as Denmark. Pfizer also recently settled a Lipitor patent challenge from the USA’s Apotex, the terms of which were not disclosed.