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Allergan Can Fight Over Eyelash Drug’s Patent

WASHINGTON (CN) - The patent holders of Latisse, a cosmetic eyelash-growing product, can sue other cosmetic companies for producing similar products that allegedly economically injure its business, the Federal Circuit ruled.

A federal judge in Santa Ana, Calif., had originally dismissed the patent claim filed by Latisse-maker Allergan Cosmetics against several cosmetic companies. U.S. District Judge James Selna had found that Allergan could not show economic injury as a result of unfair business practice.

But the Washington-based Federal Circuit disagreed and revived the complaint Tuesday.

"In fact, Allergan is the only authorized manufacturer of prostaglandin product for the stimulation of hair growth," Judge Arthur Gajarsa wrote for a three-judge panel.

Defendants to the lawsuit include Athena Cosmetics, Pharma Tech International and Northwest Cosmetic Laboratories.

Allergan produces various other cosmetics, including Botox. Latisse developed from an off-label use of a glaucoma medication that anecdotally caused patients to grow long and lustrous eyelashes. The drug also has the potential side effect of causing irreversible darkening of the user's iris, Allergan warns.

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