Apotex Inc. v. Pfizer Canada Inc., 2014 FC 159 

Drug: atorvastatin

This is an action commenced pursuant to section 8 of the Patented Medicines (Notice of Compliance) Regulations. Pfizer counterclaimed against Apotex for infringement. The Minister of Health (Minister) certified two dates for the start of the period of liability – May 15, 2007, relating to amorphous atorvastatin, and May 19, 2010, for a second formulation. The parties agree with respect to the end date. Pfizer brought a motion seeking a bifurcation order in which the determination of the appropriate start date (Start Date) is bifurcated from the rest of the trial, and is determined first.

The Court noted that the law on bifurcation is well-known and consists of a number of factors to be considered. The Court noted each factor individually and concluded that, on a balance of probabilities, bifurcating the issue relating to the Start Date will lead to savings of cost, time and judicial resources. The Court ordered that each party should bear its own costs in light of the novel nature of the motion.