The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office preliminarily rejected Pfizer's request to have the patent for its cholesterol drug Lipitor reissued. Pfizer, which was to have market exclusivity for Lipitor in the U.S. through June 2011, lost the patent last year after a federal appeals court sided with Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd., which wants to sell generic versions of Lipitor. A second patent was upheld, preserving Pfizer's U.S. market exclusivity for Lipitor until March 2010.

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