(Adds information on earlier Teva settlement in paragraph 3)
By Brendan Pierson
Dec 8 (Reuters) - Hospira Inc can launch a generic version of Cubist Pharmaceuticals Inc's leading skin infections drug Cubicin as soon as 2016, a federal judge has ruled.
U.S. District Judge Gregory Sleet in Delaware ruled Monday that four of Cubist's patents on Cubicin, an antibiotic injection used in hospitals to treat bacterial skin infections, were invalid.
Those patents would have covered Cubicin through November 2020, though the company already granted Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd a license to market a generic version in 2018 as part of an earlier patent settlement.
Sleet upheld one patent that expires in June 2016. (Reporting by Brendan Pierson; Editing by James Dalgleish and Andrew Hay)