The pharmaceutical company behind Cialis and Cymbalta has added Covington & Burling lawyers in Washington to its multi-million dollar roster of lobbyists.
The lawyers are advocating for Eli Lilly and Co. on "[t]rade compliance issues related to [Canada's] patentability requirements," according to lobbying registration paperwork filed with Congress on Tuesday. Lilly and other drug makers are having difficulties securing Canada's approval for patents that the United States and other countries have validated, said Covington partner Marney Cheek, one of the lobbyists on the account.
Under World Trade Organization rules, inventions should receive patents if they are new, not obvious and useful. But Canada is denying patents for pharmaceuticals under its usefulness test if drug makers don't provide data on human clinical trials in their initial patent applications, Cheek said.
Lilly spent $8.9 million on federal lobbying during the first three quarters of this year, according to congressional records. For its government affairs work, the Indianapolis-based company used its own employees and lobbyists from a dozen firms, including Foley Hoag and Sidley Austin, which stopped lobbying for the drug maker in July.