Think Before You Sign: Protecting IP Rights with MTAs

Attorney: Lisa M. Mandrusiak
October 23, 2019

Material transfer agreements (MTAs) are contracts that allow one party to perform research using the materials of another party. These agreements provide a mechanism to protect the interests of the owners of discoveries and inventions, while promoting data and material sharing in the research community. Although these are admirable goals in principle, MTAs have a bad reputation with some researchers and institutions for being overly complex and, in fact, hindering research. Nonetheless, MTAs are important for defining the rights, responsibilities, and obligations of the parties with respect to research collaborations and need to be carefully considered, particularly with respect to ownership of IP rights implicated by the transferred materials.... Read more

Thinking Outside the (Utility Patent) Box – Don't Overlook Design Patent Protection in the Life Sciences

Attorney: Lisa M. Mandrusiak
August 30, 2019

Design patents are very different from utility patents in that design patents only protect the ornamental features of an invention. In contrast to utility patents, the design is defined in scope by the content of the drawings rather than the words of a set of claims. Further, design patents have a 15 year term, as opposed to 20 years from filing for utility patents.... Read more

Four Decisions Designated Informative on 101: Positive Trend for Life Sciences?

Attorney: Lisa M. Mandrusiak
July 2, 2019

In January, 2019, the USPTO issued new guidance about what constitutes an abstract idea that is ineligible for protection under Section 101. Among other things, the guidance emphasized that claims otherwise reciting a judicial exception (i.e., not patentable), would be permitted if they were directed to some type of practical application. See our previous post for more details.... Read more


Category: PTAB 101

PTAB Issues Two New Precedential Opinions On Discretion to Deny Review - Implications for Generics

Attorney: Lisa M. Mandrusiak
May 9, 2019

The PTAB designated two decisions as precedential this week (in addition to several in previous weeks), both relevant to the Board's discretion to deny review. These cases illustrate that the PTO is in the process of designating precedential opinions on a number of issues, in line with revised Standard Operating Procedure 2 for designating precedential and informative decisions. See my previous posts on other recent precedential decisions here and here.... Read more

Biologic Patent Transparency Act - New Bill Aimed at Biologics

Attorney: Lisa M. Mandrusiak
March 12, 2019

A bipartisan group of senators sponsored a bill this week—the Biologic Patent Transparency Act, S. 659—aimed at making patent information associated with biologics easier to identify and easing the approval process for biosimilar manufacturers encountering patent roadblocks.... Read more

Hedge Your Bets in TC 1600 PGRs

Attorney: Lisa M. Mandrusiak
November 30, 2018

Post grant reviews (PGRs) have proven to be more popular in the biotechnology space (TC 1600) than any other art unit, with 42—or 28.1%—of the PGRs filed to date classified as TC 1600 patents.[1] By way of comparison, TC 1600 makes up just 10.1% of all IPRs filed to date.  Perhaps not surprisingly, PGRs are appealing for challengers of biotechnology patents because written description, enablement, and indefiniteness can all be raised, and these § 112 hurdles tend to be more challenging in the unpredictable arts of TC 1600. <... Read more

PTAB Confirms It Will Apply Broad Petitioner Estoppel Post-SAS

Attorney: Lisa M. Mandrusiak
November 8, 2018

The IPR estoppel provision was originally intended as a check against patent challengers attacking patents serially in the USPTO or other forums based on grounds that were raised or "reasonably could have been raised" in the original IPR. Although the Federal Circuit has interpreted estoppel narrowly, district courts were split, and estoppel's impact has remained in flux for several years.... Read more

Two Herceptin® Patents Survive IPR: A Lesson in Separately Arguing Motivation to Combine and Reasonable Expectation of Success

Attorney: Lisa M. Mandrusiak
October 4, 2018

Motivation to combine and reasonable expectation of success are separate requirements that must be independently considered. By capitalizing on shortcomings in the petitions related to separately arguing these issues, Genentech was able to save two of three patents covering its blockbuster drug Herceptin®.... Read more

Travatan Z® Patent Survives IPR: A Lesson in Successfully Arguing Hindsight Bias

Attorney: Lisa M. Mandrusiak
September 27, 2018

Hindsight bias is not simply an old chestnut argued ad infinitum in response to obviousness challenges. In this week's final written decision in IPR2017-01053 upholding all claims of U.S. Patent No. 8,268,299, the PTAB illustrated that—under the right circumstances—this argument can have teeth.... Read more

JTEKT v. GKN: Federal Circuit Finds Competitor Lacks Standing to Appeal PTAB's Final Written Decision

Attorney: Lisa M. Mandrusiak
September 7, 2018

After determining that its competitor GKN's patent raised a potential risk of infringement for a product under development, JTEKT[1] challenged the patentability of claims 1–7 of U.S. Patent No. 8,215,440 via inter partes review (IPR2016-00046). When claims 2 and 3 were confirmed as patentable in the final written decision—and thus the risk of infringement remained—JTEKT appealed, and GKN moved to dismiss the appeal based on lack of standing.... Read more

Can Commercial Success save your TC 1600 patent from IPR? Probably not

Attorney: Lisa M. Mandrusiak
April 9, 2018

In an attempt to understand the frequency of commercial success arguments and the likelihood of success of those arguments in TC 1600 IPRs, I used information from Oblon's TC 1600 library to compile statistics. As seen below, commercial success is not often relied upon, even for IPRs challenging patents covering named drugs. And, digging into the details of the cases reveals that—even when argued—commercial success very rarely wins the day.... Read more

Rasuvo® Patent Survives IPR: Failure to Properly Frame Arguments Proves Fatal

Attorney: Lisa M. Mandrusiak
February 9, 2018

The PTAB recently reminded Petitioners of the importance of properly framing prior art arguments, upholding all claims of U.S. Patent No. 8,664,231 in IPR2016-01370 in a final written decision issued yesterday. The '231 patent—covering Rasuvo®, a rheumatoid arthritis drug containing high doses of methotrexate formulated for subcutaneous injection—was challenged based on two primary references: Grint (a U.S. patent) and Wyeth (a pharmaceutical label for conventional uses of methotrexate). The primary grounds for each reference were based on anticipation, and the PTAB determined that neither reference anticipated claim 1, the only independent claim of the '231 patent.... Read more